A black bear is killed on Alligator Alley
Can more be done to protect animals on roads?
NAPLES, Fla. - Dozens of bears and panthers end up as roadkill every year. Florida Fish and Wildlife just removed a dead bear off of Alligator Alley on Thursday. The bear was hit near mile marker 85 yesterday.
Ron Delfino, long-time Naples resident, shot video of a black bear 2 months ago running frantically as it tries to find a way back into the woods on Alligator Alley.
"I told my wife, Doll pull over. I got my video camera and reached into the bag. The bear got past the guardrail and looked like he was trying to find its way back into the other side of the fence. My wife did some panicking and said we got to get out of here!" said Delfino.
Delfino feared the animal would get hit by a car and that becomes reality for dozens of bears. In 2012, drivers have killed 92 bears, statewide.
"If you're driving in a rural area or driving Alligator Alley or US 41 or 29, you need to know there's wildlife out there," said Officer Jorge Pino, FWC spokesperson.
Just like bears, cars are a big threat to Florida Panthers, also. FWC says entire litters have been killed at a time. Officials in Hendry County lowered the speed limit from 55 to 45 at night on CR 832.
"They're hard to spot and if you're going 45mph, 40mph it's alot easier to stop," said Pino.
24 panthers died last year and more than a third died because of collisions with cars. Wildlife officials hope drivers stay alert.
"If you see a sign that says animals may be crossing the road, pay close attention while you're in that zone," said Pino.
The average cost of a speeding ticket issued in a nighttime panther speed zone often
exceeds $200. Excessive speeds result in a mandatory court appearance.
If you hit a panther or if you see an injured or a road-killed panther,call the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s toll free Wildlife Alert hotline immediately at 1-888-404-3922.