Florida Black Bears Are Invading Human Environments
At one time, the Florida black bear was hunted from a booming population of around 12,000, down to a few surviving hundred. With the black bear population roaring back in the Sunshine State, the crafty bears are quickly encroaching on human property…
With over 3,000 individual black bears in the state, it is a wonder that a serious bear attack hasn’t happened sooner, but on December 4th, Wingfield North resident Inga Bateman was savagely mauled by a 200lb female black bear while walking her dogs. She was savagely mauled on her face and head, and she is now recovering in a hospital. Thankfully, wildlife officers managed to track, trap and euthanize the bear suspected of attacking Inga.
Between the most publicized black bear attack in Florida history and the high increase of bear sightings in central Florida neighborhoods over the past few years, state legislators are seriously looking for ways to definitively protect people from encountering bears in their yards, open garages and dumpsters. In the meantime, citizens are encouraged to securely store trash inside or in bear-proof bins to discourage bears from considering humans as a legitimate food source. Although black bears were recently delisted from their previous conservation status of “threatened,” it is still illegal to kill or harm bears in Florida.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission defends their decision to euthanize the violent bear, while making plans with 15 animal trappers to trap and relocate, or kill off problem bears in the near future. While that may seem harsh, I’m certainly sick of the argument of “It was their land first, and humans took it from them!” especially since humans are just as natural as bears, and we deserve to live wherever we choose to without fearing attacks from apex predators. Let’s just hope that Florida’s rising black bear population doesn’t become too big of a problem, or else we’ll see limited hunting permits in the near future…
Pet and Animal Blogger