At last, near the 46-mile marker (Polk City) on June 7th, M34 turned back to the south. Again he leapt south, crossing through Catfish Creek, Lake Kissimmee State Park, through the Bombing Range, passing his old home range near Sebring and continuing toward the Kissimmee River, where he entered the riparian corridor of the river on the 16th.
From there he walked to the banks of Lake Okeechobee, swimming to the east bank and walking along the dike. For two days he walked the northwest shore of the great lake, before finding the mouth of Fisheating Creek in Glades County, on June 23rd. He then spent a week in the company of female bears on a pair of private ranches that are the strongest population hubs for Highlands County bears.
M34 then made another trek, circling west to the Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area of Charlotte County. He turned back to the Fisheating Creek ranch complex after a week. On July 9th his collar reached maximum capacity, its automated release was triggered, and we recovered it from the field. His last known location was roughly 30 miles from where he began his dispersal, but still within the range of the Highlands/Glades population. In eight weeks, he had moved over 500 miles, spanning an area of roughly 110 miles north to south.