Anti-hunting groups to include the Florida Wildlife Federation, Environmental Action, The Humane Society of the United States, and the state chapter of the Sierra Club are opposed to the measure.
With expanding bear numbers leading to unprecedented attacks and increased collisions with automobiles, the Florida Wildlife Commission is seeking to reinstate the first bear season in over 20 years.
The commission will decide at its upcoming Feb. 4 meeting whether or not to proceed with plans to control the state’s population of black bears through hunting.
This comes as attacks across the state by bears are on the rise.
In Lady Lake four months ago, a retired Michigan transplant killed a 400-pound animal that had broken down the door to his house while last month a 15-year old girl in Eastpoint was attacked and dragged to a ditch by a bear while walking her dog. In the last incident, the teen only escaped after playing dead.
“Four attacks in 18 months is unacceptable and it has caused us to say let’s escalate what we’re trying to do and move forward as quickly as we can,” FWC executive director Nick Wiley told the Tallahassee Democrat.