Beaches and Bears: Pam’s prevalence in the community is ‘not a good situation’

Published: Friday, August 16, 2013 at 04:23 PM.

However, they have been known to kill goats, pigs, chickens, and occasionally, a dog.

"That's why it is not a good idea to have them in neighborhoods," said Kirkland.


The bear facts: "They were here first"

The bear population in the state of Florida is estimated to be between 2,500 and 3,000, and that number is on the rise.

"Twenty-five years ago, we were picking up about 100 bears a year; now we are picking up about 200 to 250 a year that have become nuisances," said Kirkland. "That's not a perfect indicator, but we know the population is increasing due to the number of calls and complaints that are up dramatically."

According to FWC reports, in 2002 in Florida's Northwest region, which extends from Escambia to Jefferson County, FWC received a total of 79 calls about bears. In 2012, the calls went up to 1,671.

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