Published: Aug 30, 2010 4:32 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 30, 2010 1:32 PM EDT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - It wasn't too long ago that Florida was desperate to save the black bear.

The species lost so much habitat and became so heavily hunted in the 1950s the animals were almost never seen.

Decades later, it looks like the state may've done too good a job.

The black bear population has exploded, forcing the animals out of the wilderness and increasingly into contact with humans.

The animals have been spotted prowling gated communities, in back yards, garbage cans and even at Universal Orlando. The problem is particularly acute in central Florida because black bears have rebounded so strongly in the Ocala National Forest.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is studying the issue.

The most controversial idea is whether to reopen a hunting season for the animals.