Franklin County's Black Bear Invasion

There are only about 2000 black bears left in Florida, but don't tell that to the folks in Franklin County. They've got more than they can handle.

“One of our employees counted, I think, 13 bears between Carrabelle and Lanark Village last weekend. It's not unusual to see a bear there occasionally. It's real unusual to see 13," says Henry Cabbage of the Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Bears will eat just about anything, but Henry Cabbage at the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says they're just nuts about acorns, and there's a bumper crop this year.

"Well, it's something bears need to fatten up for the winter. They're going to a relatively inactive state in the wintertime and don't really eat much so they need to fatten up. These acorns provide just what they need for that," Cabbage says.

And while the bears are chowing down, people need to keep their distance.

"We have had a couple of incidents where bears would bluff-charge individuals, as they call it. In fact, we have never had a bear attack a human being in Florida that we know of," says Cabbage.

Once the acorns have been consumed, the bears should head back to the woods for a long winter's nap. Until then, the humans will have to grin and bear it.

North Florida isn't the only trouble spot. State wildlife officials say they've been getting reports from several different regions about an increase in the number of bears killed by cars.


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