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Archive for October, 2015

CM151027-120510009 This past weekend the state of Florida held it’s first Bear Hunt in over 20 years. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is touting it a great success and are planning for the next massacre. Opponents are still trying to figure out how to stop it. Emotions were running high from both sides. I blew up my own Facebook page with the horrific images of dead Momma Bears and dead Cubs no bigger than Labradors. I felt sick all weekend.

The hunt was called off after two days. The FWC seemed surprised the hunters were so immediately successful at bagging the Bears. A quote I heard from a hunter on the news was, “He just stood there and let me shoot him.” Think about that for a moment. Why would he not run? Bears have been used to seeing humans these past 20 years. Not much “sport” in that.

Another quote from a different hunter was, “You’ve seen what’s been happening North of Orlando… the Bears have been chewing on dogs and chasing women!”

This was the excuse used to start this mess. Bears were attacking people along the Markham Woods Road corridor. It’s true that a handful of people and dogs have had bad encounters over the past couple years. People in danger from Bears still only make up 1% of the calls FWC takes regarding Bears. That 1% statistic has been solid yearly since 1999, according to the FWC website. I work daily in the neighborhoods up and down Markham Woods Road. I have personally had several close sightings of Bears in these neighborhoods. Know what happened? Absolutely nothing. We both went about our business. It infuriates me that yesterday, not two days after everyone was so upset our beautiful black Bears were killed, I still saw trash set out in rickety cans.

It doesn’t take a scientist to deduce the following:

1. Bears are in the neighborhoods because you built them in their woods.

2. Bears are in the neighborhoods because you put trash out they can easily access.

Yesterday when I took the above photo I was in an exclusive, gated neighborhood. This is high dollar real estate. I drove the main drag with homes on both sides. I drove from the front gate to the back. I counted TWO Bear-Proof trash cans! That, my friends, is shameful.

Are you outraged enough to finally get the proper trash cans needed to ensure not only YOUR safety but the safety of our Bears? Lead by example. It’s too late for the over 300 dead but maybe, just maybe, we can be responsible stewards for the ones remaining.
beardefenders

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