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Updated: 05/16/2014 08:00:01AM

Slack Tides

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A black bear estimated to weigh 200 pounds stands on its hind legs Thursday, July 30, 2009 and surveys a northside neighborhood in Eau Claire, Wis. The animal was discovered wandering mid-day near a city playground and a Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles office. (AP Photo/Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Steve Kinderman) Original Filename: Wandering_Bear_WIEAU103.jpg

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lawmakers suggest bear hunts

A dozen Florida lawmakers, including several with ties to Central Florida, want state wildlife officials to allow limited bear hunts in “hot spot areas” after two recent bear maulings in Seminole County. The lawmakers, who also want the state’s waste-management companies to provide “bear-proof” trash containers, sent their requests in a letter to Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. They cited “the latest incidents involving human and bear interaction” for their requests, which also ask the agency for an educational program for people living near bear habitat. FWC’s Wiley was open to the legislators’ suggestions, including a bear hunt. “I saw the letter as helpful,” he said. “They offered up a broad range of ideas they thought were really important for us to consider.” Florida prohibited bear hunting in most areas of the state in 1971, when black bears were considered a threatened species, with fewer than 300 roaming the state. All bear hunting in the state was outlawed in 1994.

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