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Florida officials using doughnuts to attract, count black bears

At last count, there were about 3,000 bears statewide.
By Evan Bleier Follow @itishowitis Contact the Author   |   June 5, 2014 at 9:12 AM
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla., June 5 (UPI) -- Florida officials are serving up doughnuts to the state's black bear population – and it's not in honor of National Doughnut Day on June 6.

Wildlife authorities are using the doughnuts to attract bears into counting stations so they can get an idea about the size of the population.

"We're hoping to prove our hypothesis that the bear population has greatly increased since 2002," Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesman Greg Workman told WESH.

The stations will be surrounded by barbed wire and set up away from neighborhoods. The idea is that the barbed wire will catch pieces of the bears' fur which can then be used in DNA testing. Researchers are hoping to get a better feel for where the bears are living and evaluate if they need to be moved to other areas.

A previous count showed there were about 3,000 bears statewide.

"We want to know that the area we're relocating these bears to, that we're not over-saturating the area. We want to know there's capacity left," Workman said.

Results from the study are expected to be ready in about a year.

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