Black bear cub shot, killed in Marion County near Ocala National Forest

A bear cub was found shot and killed in Marion County and now an investigation is underway. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) confirmed a black bear cub was found shot and killed in Salt Springs, which is near the Ocala National Forest. 

The homeowner who found the dead bear cub tells FOX 35 News that she and her neighbors heard gunshots on Wednesday night but didn't know what had happened at the time. Then, the homeowner found the bear carcass on Thursday. 

Earlier this month, a black bear was found shot and killed in an Apopka neighborhood. The Apopka homeowner who found the bear said he was taking his dogs outside on a walk when he saw the 500-pound bear lying in his grass. His wife called law enforcement, and the FWC arrived to investigate and remove the bear. 


"To me, it's very depressing, and it was heart-wrenching because, to me, that was a majestic animal," said the homeowner, Bill Lueckfeld, earlier this month. "It's very disturbing to see something like that because we love seeing those animals, but we don't love seeing them that way."

On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a controversial bill into law that allows Floridians to shoot and kill black bears on their property to defend themselves or their property, similar to the Stand Your Ground Defense. 

Supporters of the newly signed law say Floridians have a right to protect themselves. While opponents worry it will lead to bears being killed unnecessarily and could put innocent people in danger. 

The law will go into effect on July 1. Anyone who shoots a bear will have to let FWC know within 24 hours of killing the bear and cannot keep or sell the bear carcass.

If you have any information about who shot the bear cub in Salt Springs, call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922) or submit a tip at