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Feeling 'bear-y' helpful? FWC looks to hire bear response contractors

Bear contractors with the conservation department will work on an "as needed" basis which varies by season, area and year.
A black bear stands in long grass and weeds.

HIGHLANDS COUNTY, Fla. — For anyone interested in black bears and helping people avoid conflicts with the furry animals, there may be a side job for you.

Anyone with a flexible work schedule and a car that can tow a small trailer might be a good fit as a bear response contactor for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

FWC is looking for multiple contractors to help respond to human-bear conflicts in Bay, Escambia, Gulf, Highlands, Lake, Marion, Okaloosa, Orange, Santa Rosa, Seminole, Volusia and Walton counties.

These contractors will be trained to assist with different bear conservation efforts including:

  • Helping residents and businesses avoid conflicts with bears
  • Collecting information from and disposing of dead bears
  • Setting and monitoring bear traps

Bear contractors with the conservation department will work on an "as needed" basis which varies by season, area and year, a news release explains. Workers are paid per activity instead of hourly.

"Interested individuals must be willing to work flexible hours, including nights, weekends or holidays; use their own vehicle; have the ability to haul a small trailer and secure their own general liability insurance, which can cost $300 to $1,000 per year," FWC leaders explain in the release.

Anyone interested in becoming a contractor can send in their resume, contact information, counties of interest and three professional references to BearManagement@MyFWC.com or FWC, Bear Management Program, 620 S. Meridian St. 6A, Tallahassee, FL 32399.

Click here for more information on the FWC's Florida Black Bear Management Program and the bear response contractor program.

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