Wildlife Workers Lure Florida Bears With Doughnuts For Census

Lauren Eissler Contributor
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Wildlife workers will be conducting a census of the Floridian black bears and they’re enlisting donuts to help in the work. This survey will help the workers manage the bear population better.

Twelve years ago, officials estimated there were around 3,000 bears across Florida, but bear sightings have been increasing, according to WESH Orlando. With census data, which will be ready in about a year, the officials can figure out bear density to help them in relocating the furry creatures. That way, they won’t be over-saturating areas and driving bears back into neighborhoods.

Workers are setting up 200 counting stations and are making sure that they’re not too near neighborhoods. These counting stations will be surrounded with barbed wire to snag the bears’ fur. But the bears won’t be hurt, state officials said.

“It happens every day to them, it pulls a little bit off of them, and that’s it,” said Greg Workman, Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesman.

And the workers are baiting the counting stations with treats (and apparently bears like donuts) to lure the bears in through the barbed wire. The fur snagged on the barbed wire will be DNA tested so the workers know if one bear is particularly fond of doughnuts (or other bear treat) or if multiple bears are chowing down.

Lauren Eissler