The recent growth in the population of black bears convinced the Commission for Wildlife Conservation to organize three webinars. The theme of the discussions will be the necessary measures that must be taken in order to reestablish the ecological balance in Florida, and also the upcoming second bear hunt.
The coordinator of the bear management program said that the commission needs to receive as much feedback as possible before putting in place the second hunt.
The committee had been asked to organize another hunt in order to decrease the number of bears. The first raid took place in October last year, and it provoked controversy as 304 bears were killed.
The main reason for this action is to preserve human safety, as the increase in the number of black bears can be a danger to residents.
Over the last ten years, bears in the region became four times more numerous and reached some 4,350 individuals.
The subspecies living in Florida has an entirely black fur. For over 40 years, the state protected the animals as they were thought to be threatened with extinction.
In 2014, the Wildlife Commission started a study on the population number and density. The results of the research led to the bear hunt organized in the autumn of 2015. Authorities argue that the action was based on scientific facts and that bears are a real danger to the community.
The activists had a firm answer to the hunt. They produced an ad to raise awareness about the cruelty of the action. The ad shows a dying bear that was filmed during October’s shooting.
Opinions are divergent even among the state’s counties. Seminole, Clermont, Deltona and Eustis counties have urged the commission to take into consideration other non-lethal methods and refused to be included in the next hunt.
On the other hand, locals made numerous calls for help and received continuous advice on how to avoid encounters with black bears and to keep safe.
One of these management measures is securing trash cans and food for pets, which attract bears. Seminole already implemented this measure and had good results.
The commission already recommended people to install special containers for garbage and to take out the trash in the morning so that exposure to bears could be reduced. As the animals are attracted to anything that smells, pet food should also be kept inside.
Bears can sense food from as far as a mile away. They tend to avoid humans, but a hungry bear may forget the risk. More so, a bear is most likely to return if he finds an available food source. And if this happens, it may take several weeks before the bear stops returning – even after the food is removed.
Therefore, the authorities advised locals to install electric fences in order to keep the animals away.
Should you have any opinion to share on the matter, the next two webinars will take place on the 31st of May and on 2nd of June. The discussions can be attended over the web or by regular phone.
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