Some of Tallahassee's most distinguished artists and environmentalists held a "Requiem for Florida's Black Bears" on Saturday. It was a response to last month's state-sanctioned bear hunt, which killed 304 bears in two days.
About 75 people attended the service at the United Church in Tallahassee. Velma Frye sang. Linda Hall made sculptures of bears. Erice Shepard lend the Ursine Chorale. David Moynihan took photographs. Crystal Wakoa gave the meditation.
"To the artists; please never stop making art," she told the congregants, "Because you not only inspire us to keep going, but you show us a way into our grief and our healing."
Attendees say they'll oppose future bear hunts by the state. Producer Sue Cerulean says seventy-five percent of Floridians were against the hunt. A spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the agency respects everyone's right to express their views on the issue.