Spring is in the air, hungry Florida black bears are looking for love, and state game officials are urging caution.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission program manager David Telesco says hikers and campers should carry bear spray and homeowners should consider bear-resistant garbage containers.
“When we think about bears, most of the time, when they’re looking for food, they’re looking for plants. So, nuts and berries and things like that. But they will not turn down easily accessible food that has a lot of calories -- and that’s where our garbage comes in.”
FWC approved the first bear hunt in two decades in 2015, but regulators are waiting until 2019 to decide on another. Lawmakers this year set aside about 400 thousand dollars for a program that helps communities purchase bear-resistant trash containers.