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The law protects you…and the bears.

Regulations are an important tool in wildlife conservation.

The FWC bear management team believes the most important thing we can do to conserve Florida black bears is to prevent conflicts with people. Almost all conflicts come from the bear's search for food, and so to prevent this, additional regulations target the reasons why bears come into contact with people.

As a resident of bear country, you should know and follow these regulations - for your safety and for the bears' safety.

Bear Feeding

Intentionally feeding bears is prohibited and placing food or garbage, allowing the placement of food or garbage, or offering food or garbage that attracts bears and is likely to create or creates a nuisance is prohibited after receiving prior written notification from the Commission.

The penalty system for wildlife feeding violations (except marine fish) starts with a civil penalty of $100, and then gradually increases in severity.

Whenever the taking or possession of wildlife or freshwater fish is prohibited, the possession of any carcass or portion of the carcass of such wildlife or freshwater fish is prohibited.

Provides prohibitions, permitting, and agency activities concerning the Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus) subsequent to its removal from the State-designated Threatened species list in August 2012.

Black bears in Florida are not allowed to be taken as nuisance wildlife.

The sale or purchase of any bear carcass or part thereof is prohibited.  The sale or purchase of black bear taxidermy mounts is prohibited, however taxidermy mounts of other bear species are allowed as long as they were legally acquired and have associated paperwork.

Black bears are considered Class I animals and therefore cannot be kept as personal pets.