Roadway collisions with bears on the rise

Drivers are warned to be aware of bears on roadways because it’s not uncommon for an accident to occur that involves a bear being hit by a car.

More than 3,200 bears have been killed on roads in the state between 1990 and 2015, with more than 200 being killed in each of the last four years.

“As human and bear populations continue to grow, the chances of human-bear interactions of all kinds will likely increase,” said Rebekah Nelson, the public information coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “Be cautious around curves and on hills as neither the driver nor the bear can see each other.”

Two bears were killed in Santa Rosa County last week, including one on U.S. Highway 98 in Navarre on the morning of June 14. Another bear was killed June 12 just after 9 p.m. after being hit by a motorcycle on Highway 87.

“Bears are most active at dawn and dusk, making them even more difficult to see on the road ways due to lighting conditions,” Nelson said.

Between 2013 and 2015, 18 bears were killed on roads in Santa Rosa County, including six a year ago. Okaloosa County also had six bear deaths on its roadways last year and a total of 18 in the same three-year span. Walton County had seven bear deaths between 2013 and 2015. There were no bear deaths in Escambia County.

Read the full article in the June 23 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe online to your community newspaper.

Two bears were killed in south Santa Rosa County last week, including this one on U.S. Highway 98 in Navarre on June 14.

Two bears were killed in south Santa Rosa County last week, including this one on U.S. Highway 98 in Navarre on June 14.

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