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Politics / Issues

Gov. DeSantis Stiffens Penalties On Florida Bear Poaching

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U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Echols
Gov. Ron DeSantis agreed to increase the penalties against illegal bear hunting to further deter hunters from killing the once-imperiled creatures.

Florida bears are getting stiffened protections against poachers, some of whom see the animals resurgence as a growing nuisance.

Gov. Ron DeSantis agreed to increase the penalties against illegal bear hunting to further deter hunters from killing the once-imperiled creatures.

The bill was among a slate of 21 pieces of legislation the governor signed Saturday.

The black bear population dwindled to the low hundreds back in the 1970s, but has since come roaring back with more than 4,000 of the creatures now roaming the state.

New rules going into effect July 1 raises the minimum fine for bear poaching to $750 from $500.