by Haley McKey
Fall is finally here, and the change in season is sending Florida Black Bears a message, loud and clear: “eat up while the getting’s good!”
There’s a great variety of nuts, fruits and seeds in the Florida countryside for bears to snack on (lots of acorns, not to mention the occasional treat of honey and larvae from beehives). But bears instinctively look for the greatest calorie reward for the least effort, at this time of year especially. Unfortunately, in suburban areas that often means pet food and trash.
Fortunately, there’s a great opportunity to learn how to bear-proof your property in Florida this weekend. The Forgotten Coast Black Bear Festival is coming to Carrabelle, Florida on October 6, and will hold workshops on living with bears, along with presentations by bear experts and guided hikes with a bear biologist. There are plenty of fun activities for kids and families too: live music, vendors and exhibits, and a Procession of the Species Parade! Click here to learn more. You can also see some examples of ways to bear-proof your property here.
Making sure we don’t leave items out around our homes that attract bears helps keep both bears and people safe and assures bears are foraging on their natural wild foods. Bear-proofing is a community effort, since just one home with unsecured trash can create risk for the rest of the neighborhood. That’s why festivals and events like the Forgotten Coast Black Bear Festival are important: they bring people together to learn about, as well as celebrate, the unique wildlife they share their state with.
Learn more about what Defenders is doing to help wildlife and people coexist.