Dear Florida Black Bear,
You need to understand you are under assault. Run as far and as fast as you can back into whatever little amount of woods you reach. You may find some safety there. I know it’s confusing. People beg you to come closer. They build huge homes on what used to be YOUR home. Generations of your family have roamed those same paths where today you find concrete and swimming pools. If you aren’t careful now, you will run straight into the path of an armed FWC officer. He’s out to get you. He wants to prove his point. They say the Florida Wildlife Commission is all about conservation. Killing SEVEN of you is certainly not very conservation-minded. And they’re not done. They’re setting traps using donuts and other delectable goodies. Don’t fall for it! There are mornings I’d be acting fairly aggressive over a donut, too, but they are going to kill YOU. The FWC is made up of macho yahoos claiming to be outdoorsmen, in other words, they are hunters. Please, please go far away.
You need to understand people are sloppy and lazy and that’s what has now put your very life on the line. I certainly don’t blame you for taking advantage of the easy meals residents put right under your nose. Bird seed, cracked corn and cat food is pretty tasty to a hungry bear right out of hibernation. And those big things on wheels at the end of driveways seem to be rolled out right for your pleasure – but they’re not. It’s easy pickings but it’s going to be the death of you. SEVEN of your brothers and sisters are already dead. Please, please go far away.
You have the ability to think, reason and make a decision. Most of the time you decide humans are not worth bothering. You could easily crush us and you decide not to. Instead you saunter on your merry way. Now there have been incidents lately where someone was injured and that’s not good, not good at all. Please tell all the other bears no matter what, run the other way instead of defending yourself against a perceived threat. When a mere human gets on the wrong side of scary, things go terribly bad. And YOU will pay with your life. Please, please go far away.
I have been a few steps away from you. I looked upon you with awe. You looked at me with innocence and we each went about our business. Me to walking dogs and you to foraging for food. That is what you do with the majority of your time. You forage for food. If we had not taken away your wilderness and replaced it with gated neighborhoods you would be kept busy with fruits, nuts, plants and insect larvae. Those are your natural dietary selections. I’m so sorry we’ve done this to you. I will do my best to help educate and bring awareness to your plight. There are many others like-minded who feel honored you walk among us. There are many others who know we can coexist if things are done the right way. Each time I see you I say a prayer for your safe journey. Please, please go far away.
For Facts about Black Bears please check out http://bearwithus.org/understanding-bears.
To get involved go to Bears of Wekiva on Facebook.