Florida FWC Searching for Car That Killed Bear

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Someone removed the claws of a black bear killed Thursday night on U.S. 98 in Santa Rosa County. Possessing any body part of a bear is illegal, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Even though the number of black bears in Florida has increased in recent years, the species is still classified as "threatened" in most parts of the state. Florida law prohibits anyone from possessing a listed species or any parts of those animals unless they have a permit allowing possession.

FWC Lt. Doug Berryman said the approximately 200-pound female bear was killed near Lighthouse Point Drive close to Navarre Middle School. Motorists reported seeing a bear cub in the area, but biologists were on the scene most of Friday morning and could not locate the cub.

"It's unfortunate that bears are sometimes hit and killed on our roadways, but no one may scavenge or remove any claws or parts of these animals," Berryman said.

FWC officers believe someone driving a Honda Accord struck the bear, based on a piece of a bumper found at the scene.

Berryman said he hopes whoever struck the bear will call the FWC.

Anyone with information about who took the claws can contact the Wildlife Alert Reward Hotline at 888-404-3922.