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Florida black bears on the move, preparing for winter

Florida black bears don’t have to hibernate to avoid the cold, but they do go into a lethargic state because there is less food in the winter.
The state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates there are about 4,000 bears here, with most living in wild areas like Big Cypress National Preserve or Ocala National Forest. [CARLTON WARD JR. | National Geographic Image Collection]
Published Oct. 14

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Black bears are on the move in Southwest Florida, roaming the land in search of high-calorie vittles to pack on the pounds for the coming winter months.

The News-Press reports the fall is generally when bear activity ramps up in Florida.

The state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates there are about 4,000 bears here, with most living in wild areas like Big Cypress National Preserve or Ocala National Forest.

Florida black bears don't have to hibernate to avoid the cold, but they do go into a lethargic state because there is less food in the winter.

Experts say a 700-pound bear can eat as much as 20,000 calories a day. Florida bears typically range from 250 to 450 pounds for males and 125 to 250 pounds for females.

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