Environmentalists Try To Stop Florida Bear Hunt

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A judge in Tallahassee will hear arguments from opponents of a state-sanctioned black bear hunt set to begin this month.

The environmental group Speak Up Wekiva has filed a lawsuit against the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission seeking to stop what would be the state’s first bear hunt in more than two decades.

The hunt is scheduled to begin Oct. 24. The News-Press reports more than 2,200 hunters have obtained state licenses to participate. Officials will allow hunters to kill 320 bears across the state.

A judge is slated to hear the request for a temporary injunction Thursday.

It’s unclear how many bears there are in the state. Some estimates put the population at 3,000, but biologists haven’t conducted a statewide assessment of the bear population since 2002.