Gov. Rick Scott: CANCEL the Florida Bear Trophy-Hunt
Worldwide condemnation of trophy hunting was sparked by the killing of Cecil the Lion in Africa, but now Florida’s bear population is the next target of such a bloodbath. We need your help to stop this bear trophy hunt to ensure the future of the species in Florida.
Florida’s black bears have been on the state’s threatened species list as recently as 2012 because their population had decreased to approximately 300 bears statewide. Protections were instituted and have led to a short period of recovery from near extinction—and idiotically the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission thinks that means it is okay to approve a statewide hunt from Oct. 24-30. This would be the first bear-hunting season in more than two decades in Florida.
The cost for a permit for this money-making bloody spectacle is $100 for Florida residents, and $300 for out-of-state residents. The use of rifles, shotguns, pistols and bows and crossbows will be allowed.
The Commission doesn’t even know how many bears actually exist in the state of Florida—making the hunt all the more insidious and proving it’s not only a gift to the hunting community but a profit-making scheme for the agency charged with protecting Florida’s wildlife.
The Commission says the goal is to kill 320 bears in four parts of the state, the eastern Panhandle, Northeast Florida, east-central Florida and South Florida,but the hunt has already drawn more than 1,900 hunters, and no limit has been set on the number of permits that will be sold. During the first two days of the hunt, there is no limit on the number of bears that can be killed, meaning that thousands of bears can potentially be gunned down or shot with arrows by blood-thirsty hunters before numbers of dead are counted or rules enforced. This disastrous and violent hunt needs to be called off.
The entire justification for this bear hunt is fraudulent and mired in trophy-hunting propaganda and fear-mongering about bears. Increasing development in Florida means more people are moving into bear country, and more habitat that was home to bears is being destroyed and developed. This pushes bears and people closer together, leading to complaints from residents who are not educated about how their own behaviors and actions cause the perceived conflicts with bears and other wildlife in the first place.
It can all be avoided, if co-existence is the goal, as Friends of Animals demands it must be.
Cancelling the bear hunt and instead educating Florida residents about how to peacefully co-exist with the bears they share the landscape with is our urgent request to Gov. Rick Scott, and we urge you to make this same request.
This means educating and enforcing policies stating that residents must use only bear-proof trash cans outdoors that are secured. It means condemning illegal feeding of bears, and it means urging residents to clean and secure outdoor grills and to not leave pet food outside. These are the simple ways that bears can continue to live in freedom as they have for over two decades in Florida.
Please contact Gov. Rick Scott immediately and demand that he CANCEL the Florida trophy bear hunt. Tell him you value bears and want to ensure their continued survival in the state of Florida, and that means changing human behaviors that draw bears into our communities and it means changing attitudes that say that wildlife don’t have a right to exist free from harm on our planet.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott
State of Florida
400 S. Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
E-MAIL the Governor: firstname.lastname@example.org