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A black bear killed by what was likely a semi-trailer truck on April 23 in Jefferson County may be the third-largest bear ever recovered in Florida.

The 600-pound male bear apparently was struck by a large vehicle around 11 p.m. on U.S. 27 two miles west of the Lamont community.

Later, a truck driven a St. Petersburg woman struck the bear in the roadway, causing her truck to wreck.

Neither she nor her passenger was injured, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Donald Bailey, a bear-response agent with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), had to use a winch and lift-pole apparatus to get the bear in his truck. However, his attempt to get the bear’s weight required some ingenuity.

“I tried to weigh the bear on our scale, but it only goes to 500 pounds, and he bottomed out the scale,” Bailey said. “Then, I thought about the fertilizer plant in Waukeenah. They weighed my truck with the bear, and then without it.”

Bailey said the bear appeared to be in excellent condition. He said it had no tags or marks to indicate it had ever been caught before.

“This is the time of year when bears are active and moving,” said Dave Telesco, the FWC’s bear program coordinator.

“Motorists should drive carefully, particularly at night, in areas of the state where bear sightings are common.”

In 1945, a 635-pound bear was killed in Volusia County during the bear hunting season.

A 624-pound male bear was killed by a vehicle in Collier County in 1988.