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Florida governor stiffens penalties against bear poaching

The minimum fine for bear poaching has been raised to $750.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida bears are getting stiffened protections against poachers, some of whom see the animals resurgence as a growing nuisance.

Gov. Ron DeSantis agreed to increase the penalties against illegal bear hunting to further deter hunters from killing the once-imperiled creatures. The bill was among a slate of 21 pieces of legislation the governor signed Saturday. 

The black bear population dwindled to the low hundreds back in the 1970s, but has since come roaring back with more than 4,000 of the creatures now roaming the state. 

New rules going into effect July 1 raises the minimum fine for bear poaching to $750 from $500.

RELATED: Woman captures video of a mama bear, 2 cubs in her front yard in Florida

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