Bear spotted near Estero school places campus on lockdown

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ESTERO, Fla.- Students at Three Oaks Elementary were placed on lockdown twice Friday when a black bear was caught roaming near the campus.

“At first I laughed because I got it on the radio, ‘did someone say bear?'” said parent Shannon McMahon. “It was kind of funny.”

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say the young bear was getting into bird feeders in the area.

“Apparently it wasn’t a very big bear, but where there is a little bear, there is a big bear,” said grandparent Mark Shaffner.

The school immediately went on a partial lockdown, forcing students and staff to stay indoors.

“One of the funny things is we are the Three Oaks Bears. Every Friday we do a bear celebration and we had to postpone the ‘Bear of the Week’ because there was a bear near the campus!” said principal Jody Moorehead.

Parents received text message updates about the situation from the Lee County School District.

“Turns out that there was no threat to our students or our staff, but it was a good experience for them to know what to do,” said Ken Dobson, director of safety and security.

Wildlife officials scared the bear away from the school. They are cautioning homeowners in the area to temporarily remove anything that might compel the bear to return again, such as bird feeders.

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