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Don’t murder the bears

October 28, 2015
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

Let me start by saying that I'm not a card carrying tree hugger or a poster-flashing, stand-on-a-corner-all-day-long promoting my point of view. God bless those who do. I do believe that all things created by God should have a fair and justified hearing before the people and most of all, before God Almighty. I do not believe our Florida black bears have been extended that right.

I've been following this October bear hunt, or more specifically October bear slaughter, for months. For some strange reason, just today the fact that Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is promoting the hunt doesn't even know anything about the number of bears who reside in Florida, at the present time. They are operating and make huge decisions based on creditable statewide assessment of the bear population in Florida taken in 2002. That was 13 years ago. Can you believe it? Once again ignorance and incompetence runs supreme in Tallahassee. Anyways, the FFWCC has ordered the murder of between 320 to 2,000 bears. This incompetent group of appointees doesn't even know how many of this fragile species could be killed. Yes, fragile, they were to the point of extension in the early '70s. This is outrageous.

There have been only 14 reported incidents of injuries to humans by bears in Florida over the last eight years. Compared to more than 500 Florida residents bitten by dogs ever year. All of these dog attacks were enough to require hospitalization. FYI, across the U.S. dogs kill 31 people per year. So, what are we to do? Start killing all the dogs?

Just a few quick questions to the hunters. Will you be killing the females? How about cubs? What will you be doing with the skins? Tanning them to keep you warm? What about the meat? Will you be properly butchering them for your own food source or will you be just leaving them to rot out in the wild with the Florida hot, humid climate?

Let me close with a political poll of voters on this issue. Sixty-one percent favor the stopping of the slaughter of these magnificent animals. Twenty-five percent favor letting these "sportsmen" set in blinds waiting for an innocent black bear to walk by so they can shoot and kill it. Whatever happened to the majority rules concept that our great nation was built on? Go figure.

Jim Healy

Cape Coral



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