Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Florida wildlife officials approve black bear hunting despite strong opposition

Black bears have bounced back in Florida to the extent they now need controlling, say its wildlife officials

Florida wildlife officials have approved a new bear hunting season only a few years after the animals were removed from the state's threatened species list, reports the Miami Herald.

After an impassioned public debate, mostly in opposition to the new hunting regulations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted 5-1 for a limited black bear hunt to help control the growing population.

Florida outlawed all bear hunting in 1994, but it says a growth in the bear population and an increase in the number of nuisance calls and bears killed by cars were the reasons for allowing a new hunt. A one-week hunting season in the autumn will be allowed in four areas of the state.

Hunters applauded the decision, but critics such as The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) delivered petitions to Governor Rick Scott with the signatures of more than 90,000 people trying to stop the hunt of Florida's largest native land mammal.

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