WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
WFSU Local News

Tallahassee Sees Increase in Bear Sightings

Florida Black Bear
mistudentwiki
/

Florida Black Bears are making their presence known in Tallahassee. Younger bears are finding themselves entering human environments more often, as they search for their own territory.

Ever since the state outlawed bear hunting in 1994, their numbers have soared. Animal Curator at the Tallahassee Museum, Mike Jones, warns that the bears being seen are younger and may be more daring and unafraid of people.

 “So, when young animals like that disperse from their mother it’s the riskiest time in their lives probably because they have to establish a habitat or a territory. They aren’t savy about roads and that kind of thing. So, they can really get into trouble and these are two young bears that just don’t know how to be bears yet.”

Florida Black Bears aren’t inherently dangerous, they’re easy to scare off and rarely approach humans. But, Jones advises people to not leave trash outside overnight, as this may attract them. The recent increase in their population has sparked a debate among state officials about possibly taking them off the protected species list.