They are at it again in Florida. If we don't act fast, they could be the next state to kill hundreds of otherwise harmless black bears. On February 4th, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Service (FFWS) will hold a hearing to determine whether allow black bears to be hunted for the first time in 40 years.
There’s not much that makes sense about lifting this ban. Even FFWS admits that hunting would not reduce the number of bear incidents in suburban neighborhoods.2 Make no mistake, the plan to kill bears has more to do with trophies than safety. Just this week the biggest bear in Florida's history was euthanized rather than trapped and released back into the wild.3 I guess FFWS believes that it’s the bears’ fault for being on our land before we got here.
A few years ago, barely 500 Florida bears were teetering on the brink of extinction - and it was the FFWS that petitioned the federal government for help protecting them. Thanks to those conservation efforts, their numbers are increasing. But just because a few bears have had problems with people is no reason to open hunting season on all of them. Rather than indicting all the bears, FFWS should focus on slowing down urban sprawl.
Together we can take a stand for the bears, keep them safe and keep them flourishing in Florida.
Thanks for taking (Environmental) Action
Sally and The Environmental Action Bear Club
1. Craig Pittman, Florida may be on a bear hunt in 2015, Tampa Bay TImes, January 21, 2015.
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