Florida lawmaker wants to make it easier to kill black bears "that are on crack"

Tallahassee, Florida - Never mind Cocaine Bear, Florida state Representative Jason Shoaf is trying to make it easier to deal with the supposed scourge of black bears high on crack.

A Florida Republican lawmakers is trying to make it easier to kill black bears, claiming some of the animals are destroying homes in crack-induced rages.
A Florida Republican lawmakers is trying to make it easier to kill black bears, claiming some of the animals are destroying homes in crack-induced rages.  © 123RF/collins93

Shoaf has proposed House Bill 87, which does away with most penalties for killing bears without a permit or authorization. A shooter must report any kill within 24 hours to Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which is required to dispose of the animal.

But the Republican lawmaker has insisted his legislation isn't targeting all black bears.

"We’re talking about the ones that are on crack, and they break your door down, and they’re standing in your living room growling and tearing your house apart," Shoaf said during a Florida House Infrastructure Strategies Committee hearing on the bill, according to The Guardian.

Dog "nurse" comes to his sick owner's rescue in the cutest way!
Dogs Dog "nurse" comes to his sick owner's rescue in the cutest way!

"When you run into one of these crack bears, you should be able to shoot it, period. And you shouldn’t have to pause or be afraid you’re gonna get arrested or harassed or pay fines. That’s just crazy," he added.

The Guardian found no documented evidence of any Florida black bear ever ingesting crack, while "physical contact" between black bears and humans is also extremely rare, with just three instances recorded by the FWC in 2023.

Conservationists sound the alarm over Shoaf's bear bill

Wildlife conservationists fear Shoaf's bill will allow people to shoot the bears and then simply claim self-defense afterward to escape accountability, as the FWC is not bound to investigate the claims.

An online petition against the bill has gathered nearly 20,000 signatures and counting.

Nevertheless, the committee voted to advance the measure to the full House. A similar bill has also been introduced in the state Senate.

Cover photo: 123RF/collins93

More on Animals: