Black bear crashes Carrabelle festival
Published: Friday, October 12, 2012 at 11:57 AM.
More exhibits than in the past graced Sands Park, with several dozen booths clustered around the children’s activity tent. Presenters said about 300 people attended the event, down a bit from last year.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Dave Telesco said he believed the “Whatever Floats Your Boat Regatta” at the marine lab competed with the festival for attendees, because both were environmentally oriented. He said a strong college sports line-up may also have reduced attendance.
Organizers did a beautiful job pulling the whole thing together. The new reading circle and morning lectures were the most popular and best attended features of the festival.
A surprise attendee on Saturday morning was an actual black bear.
FWC Bear Biologist Adam Warwick brought a small female bear that had been trapped for relocation. He demonstrated handling with the little bear as a volunteer helper. As the crowd watched, Warwick darted, weighed and measured the bear. It seems pretty certain this is one bear who has learned her lesson about hanging around with people. After the awful experience of being surrounded by gawking human beings, she’ll certainly head for the hills once released.
Several local authors were on hand to read their books and Maggie, the main character in “Beagle with the Broken Tail” was available to give paw prints. A dozen FWC interns came and provided hands-on wildlife activities.
Telesco demonstrated the latest technology for discouraging nuisance bears, including a new bear-proof trash can design, electric fencing and an “unwelcome mat.”
There were lots of craft booths and several choices of cuisine. Music was provided by Brian Bowen and King Cotton.
As always, a highlight of the gathering was the procession of the species, when several dozen participants paraded through the park displaying a collection of hand-crafted animal masks.
To see a gallery of the Black Bear Festival visit www.apalachtimes.com
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