Billy the bear helps develop better bear-resistant trashcan

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – A black bear named Billy is helping Florida’s efforts to reduce the number of human-bear interactions.

The Florida Times-Union ( reports that the bear at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens spent 25 minutes scratching and tossing a newly designed bear-resistant trashcan. Billy couldn’t get it open.

The container designed by North Carolina-based Toter is in the final stages of design and is meant to be able to work with automated collection trucks.

Florida’s black bear population has been growing, and human-bear interactions have increased.

State wildlife officials say bears and humans often come into contact because people leave their trash containers unprotected, and hungry bears can’t resist the temptation.

Preventing easy access to food by buying bear-resistant trash containers is a key strategy for reducing bear-human interactions.

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