Friday, February 6, 2009

Bear With Me, Please...

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

Where are all these bears coming from? Where is Goldilocks when you need her?

Seriously, this is a "good" sign that bear populations may be on the increase here in Florida.

February 5, 2009
Contacts: Officer Jorge Pino,
or Gabriella B. Ferraro,

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) rescued an injured, 200-pound black bear Tuesday night (Feb. 3) from the busy Florida Turnpike near U.S. 27 in Miami-Dade County.

FWC dispatch received a call from the Florida Highway Patrol, reporting that a driver had hit the bear. FWC officers found the bear a short time later in a nearby culvert and administered two chemical immobilization darts. The agency safely transported the animal to a wildlife rehabilitation center so workers could assess its injuries overnight.

The bear's injuries are not life-threatening, so further medical treatment is not necessary.

"We applaud our FWC officers' efforts," said FWC Bear Management Program coordinator Dave Telesco. "As a result of their swift action, we were able to ensure public safety and keep the animal out of harm's way."

FWC officials believe returning the bear to the wild without rehabilitation is the best course in this case. Bears are incredibly resilient and normally are able to heal and survive vehicle collisions. Wild bears taken into captivity for injury-rehabilitation risk further injury and can learn to associate people with food. That can create human-bear conflicts once the bear is released.

If a bear poses a threat to human-safety, euthanasia usually is the FWC's only option; even though it is a step no one wants to take.

Officials plan to release the bear into Picayune Strand State Forest, in Collier County.

I have a call into the FWC, hopefully they can shed some more light on this spike in bear sightings and incidents!

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...


wandering owl said...

That would make damnn big roadkill. I suppose there is no huntin' bears in Florida?

Albert A Rasch said...


First off, thank you for stopping by! I appreciate your visit and comments.

Nope definately not! The black bear is a threatened species here in Florida. With a population of only 1500 animals in the whole state, their range has been reduced to 6 areas. Before Europeans settled Florida, they lived on all of the mainland, and many of the islands and larger keys.

A couple of posts back I have a comment on a person who poached a bear up in north Florida, the FWC may just throw the book at him.


Deer Passion said...

That would leave one huge dent! I hope things turn out well for the bear, the bear population, and all the Floridians.