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Florida black bears number more than 4,300 and can be found in preserves, rural lands and neighborhoods. These critters can grow as large as 700 pounds and eat as much as 20,000 calories a day during the fall. Chad Gillis/News-Press

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida officials are reminding rural residents that bears are becoming more active as they try to add calories in preparation for winter.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says bears require about 20,000 calories a day and will forage in trash cans to get the most energy-packed food they can find.

The Gainesville Sun reports that bears are most active around dusk and dawn and drivers in heavily wooded areas should be careful.

In Florida it is against the law to feed bears or leave out food or garbage out that will attract bears.

More: Two bears found dead on Collier County roads — one near homes in Estates

More: Florida's FWC says 'no' to bear hunt in 2017

More: Not beary scary: FWC offers tips to keep yourself – and the bears – safe

 

 

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