Monday, October 26, 2015

Florida Bears

This week-end was the first time bear hunting was allowed in Florida. We still do not know the exact number of bears killed in the hunt but we do know bears were hunted down at a much faster rate than the officials expected and the bear hunt was cancelled after just two days. Florida black bears have had plenty of problems existing before the bear hunt.

Approximately 25-50% of all cubs die before they turn one year old. Natural causes of death include drowning, den cave-ins, hypothermia due to flooded dens, starvation, infections from injuries, and predation (by other bears). Road kills are considered the leading known cause of Florida Bear mortality. More than 1,356 bears are documented to have been killed by vehicles since 1976. Well over 100 bears are killed on Florida roads each year, with the record number, 132, occurring in 2002.  Once fully grown, black bears have no predators besides humans and other bears. The other causes of mortality are old age, starvation,  poaching (Florida has no legal hunting season), other bears,  and disease.  

So far the latest tally claims  295 bears have been killed in Florida, nearing the official limit, Florida wildlife authorities said late Sunday. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stated it was closing the 2015 hunt, because the numbers were already close to the kill plan of 320 bears.

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