The sudden uptick in human encounters with these bears may be due to the fact the state's black bear population has been steadily growing. So much so, in fact, that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering removing them from their endangered species list.
According to FWC’s 2011 Biological Status Review, the animal’s population has increased from 300 in the 1970s to more than 3,000, with the largest number living in the Ocala National Forest.
“We’re expecting less habitat, more roads, more road kill. We’re also expecting bears to be pushed into smaller pockets, and they’re already geographically and genetically isolated from each other,” he said.