Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Black Bears food tupelo, saw palmetto, blueberry

9 Investigates: Is Florida's bear hunt necessary?

It started out being 250 bears?

Now it is up to 320?

Black Bears food tupelo, saw palmetto, blueberry are being gathered up and sold faster than it can grow!

But 9 Investigates discovered that FWC doesn’t know exactly how many bears live in the state.

“Most animal populations should be estimated every generation, which is roughly every eight years for bears,” said Sarah Barrett, of FWC’s Black Bear Management Program. “We have updated numbers on four of the subpopulations and are collecting the data for the remaining three subpopulations.”

“If they’re going to hunt, they may as well kill them all because they have nothing to eat,” Lake County resident David Baumgardner said.

Baumgardner’s family has lived in Lake County for three generations. He said his family has always shared the land with the bears, but recently they have had far more interactions.

“I have seen more bears, morning, noon, afternoon and night in the past six years as the bears scurry about trying to find native food sources than I have in the previous 65 years,” Baumgardner said.

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