A drop in temperatures in Florida has put the state’s black bear population on the move in search of food for the winter months.
As the winter months approach, the state of Florida is seeing an increase in the movement of black bears among humans as they search for food, according to reports.
In order to survive during the winter months, black bears require about 20,000 calories a day. As they search for food, they are often coming into contact with humans. Pregnant female bears, which generally give birth in January, are especially on the prowl for food, and are more likely to make contact with humans.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission bear biologist Sarah Barrett said humans who feed bears are essentially helping to produce more, and noted that it is important to manage this interaction between humans and bears so the bears can remain protected. She told reporters;
Generally, October and November are our busiest months for bear activity. They begin using more of their range to find enough food, and they come across neighborhoods with unsecure attractants and landscaping plants bearing food.
The FWC says people who feed bears either intentionally or accidentally, or by not securing their garbage and outside food are helping to desensitize the bears to humans, which consequently makes them more dangerous.
This year, the agency has euthanized 30 bears for nuisance behavior and another 134 bears have been killed in traffic incidents throughout the state.