Be extra aware of bears in the fall

Published: Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 02:00 PM.

·Remove wildlife feeders, or make them bear-resistant.

·Protect gardens, apiaries, compost and livestock with electric fencing.

·Pick ripe fruit from trees and remove fallen fruit from the ground.

·Encourage your homeowners association or local government to institute ordinances on keeping foods secure that would attract wildlife.

“Conflicts between Florida black bears and people are preventable,” said Beaton. “Most people who follow the FWC’s advice on how to bear-proof their homes and businesses don’t have conflicts with these large and powerful wild animals.”

Black bears appear in the stories of some of some Native Americans. One tale tells of how the black bear was a creation of the Great Spirit, while the grizzly was created by the Evil Spirit. 

In the mythology of the people of the Northwest Coast, mankind first learned to respect bears when a girl married the son of black bear Chieftain. In Kwakiutl mythology, black and brown bears became enemies when Grizzly Bear Woman killed Black Bear Woman for being lazy. The Navajo believed that the Big Black Bear was chief among the bears of the four directions surrounding Sun's house, and would pray to it in order to be granted its protection during raids.

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