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Campaign To Stop Florida Bear Hunt Gets Court Hearing

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

A Circuit Court judge has agreed to consider whether to stop Florida’s first bear hunt in two decades.

The hearing is scheduled for Oct. 1, weeks before the week-long hunt of the animal that was removed from the threatened list in 2012.

Leon County Circuit Court Judge George Reynolds scheduled the two-hour hearing.

Speak Up Wekiva is calling for an injunction stopping the hunt while it pursues litigation. Chuck O’Neal is director of Speak Up Wekiva and a co-plaintiff on the suit.

“You add to that mix a projected 4,000-plus hunters in a state that does not have a great amount of rural and woodlands for the bears to hide, and this is really a recipe for disaster.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved the hunt earlier this year in response to a growing number of complaints about bears in neighborhoods.

The state agency says hunt rules will limit the number of kills to 320, but O’Neal and Speak Up Wekiva dispute that, saying an unlimited number of bears could be killed in the first two days. The hunt is scheduled for Oct. 24.


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »