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Grizzly bear cub 'Booboo' escapes in Florida, is recaptured after days on the lam

A grizzly bear cub, named Booboo, that escaped in Naples, Fla., this week was returned home Friday, its owners confirmed.

Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had been looking for the 100-pound, year-old grizzly bear since it was reported missing from the Golden Gate Estates neighborhood around 11 a.m. Tuesday, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office  said.

According the company’s website and a report in NBC station WBBH in Fort Myers, Fla., the bear is licensed legally to Dexter Osborn, 27, and his company, A Grizzly Experience, which also holds licenses for Tonk, a 6-year-old Alaskan grizzly bear weighing 600 pounds, and Yogi, Booboo’s year-old brother. The company also holds a license for an alligator. 


When reached by phone, a woman claiming to be Osborn’s wife offered few details other than the cub was “completely home safe.”

WBBH reported that Dexter Osborn said a state wildlife officer shot the bear with a tranquilizer dart early Friday afternoon.

On its website, the company bills itself an “entertaining and educational show and exhibit” that travels around the country to give people an opportunity to get close to a real Alaskan grizzly bear.

The site says Osborn, an animal trainer, has worked around exotic animals, including bears, wild cats and elephants for the past 10 years.

During the facility's last inspection in March, the Florida Wildlife Commission issued a second "30-day warning" for the lack of a proper perimeter fence for the alligator, WBBH reported. The first warning was issued in October 2011.  

The FWC report said enclosure the grizzlies were kept in met state standards, WBBH said, and the animals appeared to be healthy and well-fed.