The mother bear was euthanized for public safety
Floridians are accustomed to living around deadly creatures - encounters with alligators are commonplace for example. But a woman from DeBary likely didn't expect to encounter a black bear as she walked her dog on the driveway to her home on the evening of January 13.
After noticing the bear, the woman - who identified herself as Aydee - ran for safety. She suffered wounds to her face and her back, but thanks to helpful neighbors who responded to her cries for help, the bear was driven into nearby forest where it climbed a tree along with its three cubs - each weighing around 100 pounds.
When representatives from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to the scene and tracked down the mother bear, it was determined that she represented too-great a risk to public safety.
Unfortunately the bear was euthanized at the scene. Her cubs were judged to be mature enough to survive without her. The dog was later found unharmed, after it ran from the scene.
Bears are widespread in Florida
According to the FWC, there are an estimated 4050 black bears in Florida. The population seems to be growing by an estimated 50% every 20 years which means that with more people moving to Florida, the number of encounters between humans and bears seems likely to increase.
Living in harmony with wild animals
Given the growing number of humans and wild animals in the state, it's all the more important that people find ways of co-existing safely and respectfully with the animals which usually keep their distance if humans do the same.
A great deal of guidance exists, which those living in areas with lots of bears would do well to check out. The main pointers offered by the FWC have been included on a helpful infographic:
While the measures seem mostly common sense, even those who follow them diligently may find that bears get curious from time-to-time, as was the case for Aydee in Volusia County.
Have you had a close encounter with a bear? Do you think the bear should have been euthanised or should the entire family have been moved to a new location? Let me know in the comments section below.
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