Growing rural population causes friction between humans and bears

Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 06:40 AM.


Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties appear to have a bear of a problem with almost 600 registered complaints with the FWC.

Recently, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) euthanized an adult black bear in the Wynn Haven Beach community of Mary Esther, because the female bear had killed a pet and livestock.

The bear that had to be put down, reportedly had raised two litters of cubs and been active in several neighborhoods in the area for a few years, but suddenly became more bold and protective of her cubs.

As people move out to more remote location the availability of human-provided foods like trash, bird seed and pet food in neighborhoods can cause a bear to completely lose her natural fear of people.

After multiple attempts, the FWC gave up trying to trap the mother bear on Nov. 29.

Her two cubs were captured and relocated northwest of Wynn Haven Beach onto Eglin Air Force Base property. While cubs normally stay with their mothers for 18 months, the chances of these cubs to survive is relatively good.

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