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New Florida law allows deadly force as Cape Coral bears with furry visitors

House Bill 87 allows Floridians to kill a bear if they reasonably believe they are in danger.
Posted at 4:44 PM, Jul 01, 2024

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — On Monday, House Bill 87 became state law. It allows Floridians to stand their ground against bears.

The law says someone may kill a bear if they believe they or someone else, including their pets, are in danger.

Running into black bears is something people living in Cape Coral are no strangers to. Here's video Kyle Potts shared with us of his bear encounter.


Back in June, Jim Day said he was sitting in his backyard when he noticed a black bear climbing his neighbor's tree.

“Claw marks start down there in that tree, right there..right there…he was up there in that tree,” said Day as he explained where he saw the bear.

Cape Coral Bear
Jim Day took this video of a bear in his Cape Coral neighborhood

Fox 4's Cape Coral Community Correspondent Colton Chavez asked Day what he thought about the new state law.

“Let em’ pass through, they were here before we were,” said Day.

On Monday, Fox 4 asked Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) to provide a comment on the new state law, and a spokesperson provided this statement:

"On June 21, the Governor signed HB 87/SB 632, a bill that codifies current Commission rule and allows Floridians to defend themselves with lethal force from black bears. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is committed to the safety of Floridians"
Public Information Director, SW Region Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

The law said if deadly force is used, the bear must be reported and collected by the state.

Click here for more information from FWC regarding bears.