Bears are facing imminent danger as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) considers a proposal that would open a trophy hunt on Florida’s still-recovering population of black bears for the first time in over 20 years. As a Florida resident, I have always valued the abundant and diverse wildlife that this state has to offer, and I need your help to keep Florida’s bears protected.
Florida bears were only recently removed from the endangered species list, and the majority of Floridians oppose this hunt. The FWC doesn’t even know how many bears there are in the state – the last statewide population count was 13 years ago!
If this hunt is approved at the FWC’s June 24th meeting, hundreds of bears could be slaughtered as early as this October. Once approved, it is also possible that the FWC will allow incredibly cruel and barbaric killing methods, including hounding — where bears are chased by packs of radio-collared dogs so that houndsmen can easily shoot bears off of tree branches, and baiting — where bears are lured by piles of doughnuts and other pastries, and shot while they’re gorging themselves.
Despite hearing from thousands of residents opposed to this trophy hunt, the FWC blatantly ignored those voices. In fact, the FWC Commission Chair blew off the opinions of anyone who didn’t agree with him, condescendingly stating: “[t]hose people don’t know what they’re talking about… They think we’re talking about teddy bears.” Don’t let them silence you!
Governor Rick Scott appoints the FWC wildlife commissioners, and has the power to put a stop to this misguided, scientifically indefensible trophy hunt. Florida is one of the nation’s top tourist destinations, and Governor Scott needs to know that the public doesn’t want to visit a state that promotes cruelty.
Please join me in asking Florida Governor Rick Scott to call off this hunt and show that Florida values its wildlife and the voices of its residents.
Bears are facing imminent danger as the Florida Fish and Wildlife