Nowhere to Turn: The Plight of the Florida Black Bear

Cecils Pride

As Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) gets ready to announce another bear hunt, many questions have been raised with not many satisfactory answers generated. Last year, a minimum of 655 Florida bears lost their lives at the hands of humans: 304 as a direct result of the bear hunt, 243 on roadways, and most of the others killed by FWC for being so-called “nuisance” bears.

Since 2011, when the number of bears killed on roads was 193, that number has exceeded 200 every year thereafter with a record high of 284 killed on roads in 2012. Why might this be the case? If you were to ask the FWC, they would say with the help of the media that these numbers reflect the “large and growing” Florida black bear population, that there are too many bears, and that they are spilling out into neighborhoods and roadways terrorizing and endangering…

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