Thanks to Governor Rick “Skeletor” Scott’s and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation’s (FWC) lack of a conscience, hundreds of black bear cubs could become orphans at the end of this month. Now, animal activists with Speak Up Wekiva, are calling for volunteers to help rescue these cubs before they are killed.
Earlier this summer, the FWC approved Florida’s first black bear hunt in more than twenty years. October 24, marks the first day of Florida hunting season. The sale of hunting licenses for this unspeakable event began August 3, 2,400 licenses have been issued — 1,200 in just the first two days — and they will continue to be issued until October 23.
With that many permits already sold, it’s hard to fathom the limit of 320 kills wont be grossly exceeded.
Several environmental groups banded together in an effort to get a temporary injunction to prevent the hunt from beginning later this month. Kate MacFall, Florida state director for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) who joined the effort to halt the hunting of the black bears argued:
The FWC is supposed to be guided by science while managing wildlife, but this proposal is devoid of scientific merit and scorns public opinion. Research shows that hunting bears deep in the woods does not solve the problem of bears drawn to available human food in neighborhoods. The FWC should reject a bear hunt and focus instead on proven strategies that have broad public support and teach bears to stay away from neighborhoods: bear-proof trash management, public education and code enforcement.
Jaclyn Lopez, with the Center for Biological Diversity, hopes this appeal will make the FWC stop the hunt, work with scientists in re-evaluating the bear population and base it on actual facts — instead of hunters’ sick desire to “save” Floridians from the “scary” indigenous species.
Environmental groups are not the only ones pleading with FWC to stop this unethical hunt; Rob Lee, an avid and seasoned hunter, also feels the need to properly evaluate the black bear population, saying:
I hope the state goes in and finishes their research and puts stricter quotas on the regions so we can look back and say ‘hey, this did some good.’
The FWC argued that they believe the black bear population is currently 3,500, which is only 500 more since the population was last accurately evaluated in 2002. That is a growth rate of just two percent, but they seem to think killing roughly 20 percent of their population — each year — is totally cool.
The best part? No scientific research was actually done to support this “Guess-timate.” Circuit Judge George S Reynold III stated that the FWC could have had a better scientific basis for the hunt, but chose to still deny the appeal and said:
It appears to me that the commission had a sufficient scientific basis.
After Judge Reynold came to his decision, the director of Speak Up Wekiva, Chuck O’Neal said:
I would not exclude any option at this point. Seventy-five percent of Florida is counting on us to follow through with this effort,” O’Neal said, referring to the percentage of public comments received by the commission opposed to the hunt. “We’re not giving up. This is not a short effort. This was not our original plan to end at this point, because we feel this hunt is unconstitutional.
With the hunt still on, the only two powers that can stop the unnecessary killing of these majestic animals are: Governor Skeletor and the FWC.
No one is holding their breath at this point, as both have stated they will not intervene and the hunt will go on. Last month, Scott Spokesman John Tupps said in an email that “Gov. Scott trusts them to make the right decision to keep families safe,” when asked about the FWC’s decision to hunt the Florida black bear.
That horrible decision by Skeletor and his Republican FWC Commission, has led to Speak Up Wekiva asking for volunteers to help search for orphaned cubs — hundreds of who may be left to fend for themselves.
So, let’s do the math, shall we? A mother can have up to five cubs every two years, and if half of the 320 limit are females, that means 800 cubs, or more could be orphaned. Now, I know this number was not scientifically based, but this is just as much of a legitimate guess-timate as the one was used to justify the hunt in the first place.
Not only do they need volunteers for the cubs, they need people to stand on the borders of the hunting grounds and blow air horns to signal the hunt is over when the 320 bear quota has been met. In part because the brilliant FWC doesn’t have a concrete plan to notify hunters when the hunt is over. Isn’t that awesome?
To make matters even worse, The FWC has already appealed to the Big Cypress National Preserve in hopes of more bear slaughtering next year!
The fact that volunteers are needed to help search for cubs wandering the hunting area alone, because their parents were slaughtered to accommodate the over population of people, businesses and homes in order to fill the pockets of the developers and government, is monstrously disgusting and they should be ashamed of themselves. With their mom’s dead, these cubs are more likely to depend on humans and trash cans to survive if the adult bears aren’t there to teach them the skills bears need to survive in their own habitat — which completely negates the purpose of the hunt to begin with.
But it is Rick Scott’s Florida, so I’m not too surprised.
Featured image via Eye On Miami