welcome sign

Florida Black Bear Festival

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We traveled to Umatilla, FL to attend the 11th annual Florida Black Bear Festival, held on Saturday, March 27th.  It was awesome!  Everything you needed to know about bears was demonstrated in one form or another.  We met representatives of the USDA Forest Service, FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, The City and Chamber of Commerce of Umatilla, and Defenders of Wildlife, all of whom had a part in organizing the festival.  This photo shows a welcome sign. welcome sign

We saw displays of seasonal bear foods and scat, bearproof garbage encolsures, campsite setup, electrical fence use, and such bear items as skull models and bear mounts.  There was a scavenger hunt for bear knowledge, a learning game for kids to “fill their bear tummies” with good foods at each season of the year, and we participated in a field trip to bear habitat.  This photo shows a model den for a FL black bear.Typical black bear den in FL

As representatives of Appalachian Bear Rescue, we appreciated the information and displays at the FL Black Bear Festival.  We enjoyed talking to many individuals who were a part of the festival.  We were able to bring back many ideas which we will implement in our upcoming Black Bear Expo, which will be held on Saturday, June 26th, at the Townsend, TN Welcome Center.