MARY ESTHER — A female black bear that had grown reliant on human-provided food and brazen in her efforts to obtain it has been euthanized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Two cubs, both weighing about 100 pounds, were captured with their mother and released on Eglin Air Force Base property northwest of the Wynn Haven Beach area they’d frequented, the FWC said in a news release.
“The cubs have been with their mother long enough that they are no longer fully dependent on her,” FWC bear program coordinator Dave Telesco said in the news release. “The chances of survival for these cubs are relatively good.”
Telesco said in the news release that the mother black bear had to be killed because she’d lost “her natural fear of people.”
She’d also killed chickens and a dog during her forays into areas inhabited by humans, the release states.
“The female had raised two litters of cubs and been active in several neighborhoods in the area for a few years,” Telesco was quoted as saying. “This year, however, she became more bold and protective of her cubs.”
The capture was made Nov. 29.
Officials said both the mother bear and the cubs were larger than bears reliant on foods found in nature. She weighed 250 pounds.
“Bears grow larger and produce more cubs when they have regular access to human-provided foods, which increases the number of bears living in neighborhoods and causing human-bear conflicts,” the release states.
“This situation was preventable. If those bears did not have easy access to trash and other human-provided foods, they would likely have just passed through the neighborhood,” Telesco said.
Contact Daily News Staff Writer Tom McLaughlin at 850-315-4435 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TomMnwfdn.