Black bear hunt held in Florida, USA

Last updated at 07:17
A Florida Black Bear is pictured in Florida in this undated handout photoReuters
The number of black bears in Florida has grown to about 3,500

The US state of Florida is holding its first bear hunt in more than two decades, despite opposition from animal rights campaigners.

The state's Wildlife Conservation Commission is allowing licensed hunters to kill a total of 320 black bears.

Officials said the bear population had grown to 3,500 - up from a few hundred in the 1970's - and presented a safety problem.

But, animal rights groups said the hunt did not have public support.

The Stop the Florida Bear Hunt campaign staged a protest in downtown JacksonvilleAP
Activists said Florida should focus on waste management, not killing bears

More than 200 bears were killed on Saturday. The hunters included a 16-year-old boy who said he fulfilled a dream when he killed an 80kg bear.

The Wildlife Conservation Commission said it gave out nearly 4,000 licences to hunters.