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Once Nearly Extinct, Florida Black Bear Numbers Growing

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) — The Florida black bear which was once on the verge of extinction is on the way to making a comeback and could soon be removed from the list of threatened species.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Thursday there are an estimated 3000 bears that roam the Sunshine State. Now FWC is seeking public input on a proposal aimed to help the species survive. This will include four public workshops that will be held around the state.

Currently the Florida black bear does not meet the criteria of being at high risk of extinction and when the plan is approved, the bear will no longer be on the state’s list of threatened species.

The bear population has rebounded so much, they are increasingly invading populated areas and becoming a hazard on the state’s roads.

State officials say the plan should be approved by the commission early next year which will make the Florida black bear a true conservation success story.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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