ORLANDO, Fla. — A large crowd of animal advocates came together in Orlando Sunday to protest the recent bear hunt that took place last week across Florida.
"We do not want this bear hunt to happen again next year," organizer Susan Hargreaves said.
More than 300 people took part in the event, to remember the nearly 300 bears killed during the first bear hunt in Florida in 21 years.
"It is amazing the number of people that have come out wearing black in the hot Florida sun to realize that we still need to continue this fight," Hargreaves said.
Organizers said the memorial was inspired by a five-year-old boy named Khendall and his YouTube video.
Photos: Black Bear Memorial
Black bear advocates said the effects of the recent hunt, which only took two days to reach the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission limit, will affect many bears still living.
"There are about 300 orphaned bears after the bear killing, because about third of the bears killed were lactating mothers," Hargreaves said.
But despite push back from hunt opponents, state officials said the hunt was used as a management tool for the increasing bear population, which is now estimated to be around 3,000 in the state.
"It was a disaster. It was carnage in the woods. The people here are aware of that and we are going to fight to make sure Florida never does this again," Hargreaves said.
State wildlife officials say the hunt will most likely happen every year.