Bear attacks man on eve of controversial hunt

AP News
Posted: Oct 24, 2015 1:11 PM
Bear attacks man on eve of controversial hunt

EASTPOINT, Fla. (AP) — Wildlife officials are investigating after a bear attacked a man outside Eastpoint motel.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officials say Charles Griffin was walking near the Sportsman's Lodge Motel and Marina on Friday night when he encountered a bear. He was released after being treated for nonlife-threatening injuries. Wildlife officials are conducting trapping efforts.

The attack comes on the eve of the state's first bear hunt in more than 20 years.

Officials have sold more than 3,200 permits for Saturday's controversial hunt. The season ends after a week, or as soon as the cap of 320 kills is reached.

Protests are planned around the state. Activists said the state should instead focus on trash management and curbing the smell of food in garbage.

Wildlife officials say the black bear population had grown to 3,500 — up from a few hundred in the 1970s — and presents a safety problem.