The number of black bear attacks has been on the rise in Florida -- but it's not really because of the bears. In an interview with National Geographic, David Telesco, coordinator of the Bear Management Program for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, explained that the increased number of attacks isn't the result of increased violence on the part of the bears:
We've had a boost in conflicts in Florida since the early 2000s, but it has definitely shot up in the last few years [more than 4,000 bear-related calls were made to the FFWCC in 2010]. That's because you have not just a bear population that's growing but a human one too, with high-density human populations next to high-density bear populations. The land that bears use is in high demand for housing developments. As that development occurs, it creates more opportunities for people and bears to interact. While attacks are fortunately rare, more interaction can lead to more of them.
According to Telesco, many of the reported attacks result from humans intentionally instigating contact with black bears, antagonizing the animals and prompting them to respond. It's not actually in the bears' nature to get violent: