OCALA, Fla. - Corn and doughnuts have been hung from trees and placed on the ground by biologists as part of research to determine the bear population in Florida.
From the Wekiva River Basin to the Florida-Georgia line, 273 bear "hair snares" have been set up. Bears will be lured to step over placed barbed wire to get to the bait, snagging some hair in the process. The hair will then be taken to a lab to individually identify each bear.
More than a decade ago, 3,000 bears were recorded in Florida. This is the first count since, and officials believe that number has increased. This research will determine if bears captured in neighborhoods can be moved to the Ocala National Forest.
Florida Fish and Wildlife hopes this research will be done in June of 2016.
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