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Game Officials Urge Bear-Proof Container Use

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Rural areas of Leon County are hot spots for bear encounters, and state and local officials are urging residents to get bear-proof garbage containers.

The number of nuisance bear calls appears to be holding steady in Leon County, with 83 so far this year. There were 141 calls in all of 2014.

Marie Tucker can’t say for sure who or what’s been raiding the garbage at her home on Bow and Arrow Trail near Lake Talquin. But the young mother of three thought it was best to check out bear-proof garbage cans at a recent forum at the Fort Braden Community Center.

“I’m assuming it’s a bears. It’s an industrial…a commercial-size trash can….to be knocking over, I’m assuming it’s a bear, yeah…”

FWC and Leon County sponsored the event to stress how important it is to bear-proof garbage. It can be done with ordinary locks from a hardware store or by purchasing or renting state-of-the-art bear-proof garbage containers.

The FWC came under intense criticism last October when it sanctioned the first bear hunt in decades. The population increased from several hundred in the 1970s to more than 4 thousand today.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.