A Florida black bear was shot 16 times in a Florida neighborhood. The mother bear had been previously seen around Sanford, Florida with her two cubs. The two cubs have not been located. Residents in the neighborhood say that the bear was shot by someone attempting to protect a dog. This has not been confirmed.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials responded to the shooting. Footage from a security camera revealed that 16 shots had been fired.
Sadly, the FWC reported that the mother bear required euthanization due to the injuries she had sustained.
In Florida, it is against the law to kill a bear unless previous authorization has been received from the FWC. Violators can face penalties including up to a year in jail and/or 1,000 dollars in fines. FWC officials told local news that the only exception to the law is if the bear is shot to save the life of a human.
No charges have yet been made in the horrifying death of the mother bear. Officials are now searching for the two cubs. The cubs are believed to be old enough to survive on their own.
Florida black bears are a subspecies of the widespread American black bears, which are found in Florida as well as southern portions of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. There are an estimated 4,000 black bears in Florida.
Florida black bears eat a mostly vegetarian diet. They are rarely aggressive unless they are defending themselves or their young.
However, residents are advised to avoid actions that may attract bears. Bears may be drawn to human spaces by unsecured trash or other food sources. If a bear spends too much time near humans, they may lose their fear of people, putting themselves and humans at risk.
The FWC advises deterring black bears by securing trash in bear-proof containers and eliminating other possible food sources that may attract bears. If bears are seen near homes, stay far away and use loud noises to scare the bears away.
Never approach or attempt to interact with bears or their cubs. Additionally, keep dogs and other animals secured and away from bears and their cubs.
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This article by Willow Lynn was first published by One Green Planet on 27 August 2023. Lead Image: Jim Cumming/Shutterstock.