Florida governor stiffens penalties against bear poaching
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Black bears, once a threatened species in Florida, will get stiffened protections against poachers, some of whom see the animals resurgence as a growing nuisance. Ron DeSantis agreed to increase the penalties against illegal bear hunting to further deter hunters from killing the once-imperiled creatures. The black bear population dwindled to the low hundreds back in the 1970s, but has since come roaring back with more than 4,000 of the creatures now roaming the state. In fact, the penalties for killing turkey and deer out of season is currently more severe than killing a bear. The rise in the black bear population — coupled with the rising numbers of humans in Florida — have led to friction, as bears and people encroach on each other’s turf.