9 men charged with baiting, abusing black bears in Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida authorities have charged nine men with setting out bait for black bears, then steering them toward dogs that chased and mauled them.

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the arrests Wednesday.

Investigators say the men lured bears in four north Florida counties with dog food, doughnuts and peanut butter.

According to statements from both state agencies, videos posted on social media showed the men forcing the bears toward about a dozen waiting dogs. Investigators said none of the men tried to stop the dogs from attacking the bears.

Seven of the men are Florida residents. One lives in Georgia, and another in Virginia. All face charges of animal cruelty, animal fighting or baiting, unlawful taking of black bears, and other charges.

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