Bill could allow black bears on private property to be shot

Reporter: Amy Galo Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

A black bear family, adored by neighbors in Golden Gate Estates, could be at risk under a new Florida bill. It would allow property owners to kill a bear without a permit if they feel threatened.

This bill is meant to protect people, but what about the bears’ protection?

This bill would make it unlawful for anyone to lure or provoke a bear purposely, and you can only use lethal action if you’re protecting yourself or your property, but people who live out here worry about where that line is drawn.

Everyone has a favorite neighbor, and the consensus is pretty clear at Golden Gate Estates.

“We see the bears all the time, and there’s no issues,” said Thomas Moore, a neighbor.

It’s a bill neighbors around here feel uneasy about.

“If you know somebody’s threatened, I think of the bears attacking somebody. I think they should be able to defend themselves. Absolutely, but I don’t know. It just seems like it could get pretty weird,” Moore said.

This is weird because…

“The bears, they stay away so that there’s really not a threat unless people are feeding them,” Moore said.

Nobody wants to see this family leave or, worse, get hurt.

“This is their habitat. There’s a lot of property out here that they live in, so for us to come out here and take over their land and expect them to leave,” Moore said.

This bill would require people to notify the FWC within 24 hours of killing a bear, and a person may not keep, sell or dispose of any bear parts. That must be done by FWC.

To read the bill, click here.

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