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State Bear Policy Gets Another Look After Worst Mauling in Florida History

Heather Paul via Flickr

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will re-assess its bear policy after a Central Florida woman was mauled. The commission wants to make sure the right bear is identified in an attack.

The current policy is to euthanize for the sake of public safety. In the Longwood case two bears were put down before DNA testing identified the right animal. The FWC's Thomas Eason says that bear won't be euthanized. She's the mother of three cubs."We likely will explore, is there a way to have some capacity out there to hold a couple of bears as we're doing this and then know that we're getting the right one", Eason said.

Eason described the mauling as the worst in state history. It also is the first time the commission used DNA testing in a bear investigation. Eason says the testing likely will be reserved for the worst cases because it's expensive.

He says re-assessing the bear policy is important because growing bear and human populations likely means more encounters. Eason urges people not to tempt bears with open trash cans and other food sources.