Normally I would not take a picture of a dead animal or post it online but we HAD to stop yesterday when my husband and I saw this bear on the side of the road. We were dropping my daughter off with her father halfway from where he lives and saw this bear on our way into the Ocala National Forest. My husband and I saw it on the way over and didn't point it out to my daughter because I didn't want to make her sad but I REALLY hoped it was still there when we were on our trip back home. I noticed my daughter didn't see the bear so I told my husband that I'd like to try to stop on the way back if it was still there. He said that the game warden would probably be there by then or it would be removed while we were gone so we were both a little surprised to see it there on our way back. I did see a live bear a few months ago on that same road and it was a good sized bear, as it stood higher than the Mazda Miata in front of me as it ran across the road.
Like I said above, I'd never stop to take pictures of any random animal dead on the side of the road but seeing this bear, I knew I had to stop to get a better look. Other than the one bear that ran across the road a few months earlier, the only other bears I've seen have been in a zoo or one in a cage in Cherokee, NC as a child. Having grown up in Florida, I have grown to appreciate some of the wildlife unique to Florida that I know others do not ever get a chance to see. People who grow up in cities don't typically see manatees, dolphins, bald eagles, alligators, panthers and stuff like that on a regular basis and although I'm not some sort of PETA member, I do have an appreciation for wildlife and embrace opportunities to see things like that. We were not the only people to stop to see the bear, there were a few others and we were all amazed at the opportunity to see this giant animal up close. Since I am not a hunter I knew I'd never get to see an animal of this size up close and I still can't believe it was there. It looked to have been there for awhile, so I don't think anyone could have even taken it for meat but it was impressive to see.