Florida Ends Its Controversial Black Bear Hunt

Florida Ends Its Controversial Black Bear Hunt

Wildlife authorities in Florida said that they ended Florida ended its controversial black bear hunt after higher than expected bears were killed within a period of two days of the start of the hunt.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) released a statement saying that it has ended its hunting program after it killed a higher than expected number of bears after second day of the hunt.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the decision was taken as the hunt was approaching an agency objective of 320 bears overall. Late Sunday 295 bears taken overall, nearing the officials limit, Florida wildlife authorities said late Sunday.

Wildlife officials had already closed the hunting in designated central and east Panhandle regions of Florida after the first day Saturday. The hunt was approved earlier this year after considerable and controversial debate.

Backers estimated that the black bear population in Florida has grown to 3,500 from a few hundred in the 1970s. Its opponents on the other hand challenged the numbers.

Earlier Sunday, the agency's executive director, Nick Wiley, told The Associated Press that the agency is keeping a close watch on the numbers of bears taken. He said the agency was already thinking to shut down the hunt after two days.

“The agency took a conservative approach ... building in buffers so the number of bears harvested would stabilize growing populations while ensuring a continuation of healthy bear numbers”, read a subsequent statement from the agency on Sunday.

FWC's Thomas Eason sad when seeing from the biological sustainable population perspective, the number of bears killed is not at all worrisome as Florida has a large growing bear populations.

So far almost 30 states in the United States allow bear hunting.