Florida Black Bear Hunt

Banner photo credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The Centre for Biological Diversity has  released a statement (17 March 2016) regarding the plight of the black bear in Florida.

As you may recall, last October 2015, there was a black bear massacre in Florida, with an open multi (7) day hunt, the first such ‘legal’ hunt in 21 years. There was no ‘science’ to back the bear hunt in Florida.

Despite the visible impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (“FWC”) in 2012 removed the bear from the state’s threatened species list, calling its management of the species a success story” – The Centre for Biological Diversity

Old, young, males, mothers – all were ‘legal’ targets for the noble hunter, but bears greater than 100lbs “recommended” and “no cubs near by” duly noted. But during the onslaught who knows if that last ‘caveat’ was adhered to – reports at the time say no it clearly could not have been.  Of course, any orphaned cubs happened to be left behind probably starved, with no provision for their plight accommodated within the hunt’s master plan (volunteers were left to search and rescue them if they could).

The noble hunters willingly obliged with the 2015 onslaught. There was no restriction on the number of hunting permits sold ($100 resident, $300 non-resident right up to the  night before the first hunting day). Hunters were allowed to use archery equipment (bow and arrow sets), firearms and ammunition as allowed for deer hunts……….

The final Florida black bear death toll reported for the 2015 hunt was in the 304+ range (with the quota set, but not limited by the actual logistics/timetable of the hunt to 320). But who knows how many orphaned bear cubs were left to suffer their fate and die in the absence of their “harvested” parent(s)?

Florida Bear Hunt

 Noble hunters with their “harvest”

Renowned scientists, including Drs. Stuart Pimm and Adrian Treves, and over a dozen conservation and animal-protection organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity and Animal Legal Defense Fund, today submitted a scientific petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the Florida black bear under the federal Endangered Species Act. Habitat loss, roadkills and the first state-authorized bear hunt in over 20 years made 2015 a deadly year for Florida black bears, with humans responsible for killing at least 590 bears out of an estimated population of 3,000 to 3,500“- Centre for Biological Diversity, 17 March 2016

Let’s hope that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service heed the call to back only taking the lives of wildlife when the ‘science’ decrees it absolutely necessary (not because of a State Authority’s lax attitude to wildlife and pandering to the hunters’ blood lust).

Despite tremendous public outcry and protest, FWC sanctioned its first hunt in more than two decades, resulting in the death of at least 304 bears in just two days with an undetermined number of cubs left orphaned. These threats coupled with saw palmetto berry shortages and mismanagement, the Florida black bear’s small subpopulation sizes, climate change, and fire mismanagement threaten the Florida black bear with extinction in all or a significant portion of its range.”

“There is no question that under the five listing factors of the Act, listing the Florida black bear may be warranted. The Service must act promptly to protect this umbrella species and a symbol of Florida’s last remaining wild places” – The Centre for Biological Diversity


2016 Petition – “An immediate moratorium on the hunting of Florida’s black bears

2016 Petition – Environmental Action petition to US FWS to place the Florida black bear on the Endangered Species list.

Update: 10 February 2016 – Hiding the Hunters” – Why the names on any further bear hunting permits issued in Florida will be hidden from public scrutiny – Too ashamed to be named?

Stop the Bear Hunt in Florida Petition



7 thoughts on “Florida Black Bear Hunt

  1. And this exactly why I’ve pulled my DONATIONS to wildlife, as why bother, the murdering goes on anyway! What’s the point? Concerning cruelty to animals! I lose the will to live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Please don’t give up Suzanne. Campaigning and donations really do make a difference. Look at the great news about SeaWorld today. That would never have happened without the hard work of animal charities and their supporters. The animals need you, dear friend. They need all of us. Let’s pray that the scientists will be listened to for the Florida bears. I know I’m praying x

      Liked by 1 person

    • Suzanne, I know that feeling well! But as soon as we give up, ‘they’ win and the ‘voiceless’ wildlife suffers even more. The only way to make change these days (when regulatory bodies can seem to oppose popular and credible opinion (for a while)), is by continued public outcry. ‘They’ can never silence and ignore everyone if the voices of condemnation grow louder, and louder…….Each win gained (no matter how small) gives more credence and momentum, but everyone’s voice counts and adds volume. Please keep the faith, please keep advocating for wildlife and stay strong!

      As Animalista Untamed points out above, a welcomed announcement from SeaWorld today after many years of relentless pressure. But of course SeaWorld can do more, much more to give sanctuary and dignity back to all its captives – not just the promise of retirement into a SeaWorld park holding tank – the orcas and dolphins etc. currently held deserve much more than that. A costal, sea based sanctuary immediately for all its captives at SeaWorld’s enduring expense should be the minimum help SeaWorld can provide to reach some sort of atonement for SeaWorld’s years of wrongdoing (in my opinion) – https://iwbond.org/2016/03/17/seaworld-to-end-orca-breeding-programme-and-orca-shows-by-2019/


  2. The killing of our black bears is purely about greed and blood thirst. Crazed hunters wanting to kill something and put yet another trophy of a dead animal on their wall. Bears have been grossly misrepresented. Our bears are mostly docile unless threatened. The FWC does not represent the majority of the people. This group of elitist board members decides what is best and they are biased. They make decisions based on their needs and wants and those of the the SCI, NRA, hunters and politicians. Killing is big business and good for their pockets. People think that all of us against the killing of our bears want to deny every kind of hunting and that simply is not true. But when it comes to the bears, there are many, many reasons for them not to be hunted. We have done our research. We know what this is all about and we know the lies that are being told to justify these hunts. Don’t drink the Kool-aide being poured down your mouth by those who seek to justify it. They are WRONG!

    Liked by 1 person

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