Many people aren’t aware, but Florida actually has its own subspecies of Black Bear (which it shares with Alabama and Georgia) called the Florida Black Bear (Ursus americanus floridanus.) I have had a big interest in this species since I first saw a pair in Ocala National Forest last summer: my first time seeing a bear of any kind in the wild:
The Florida Black Bear is a threatened species in Florida, and exists in several isolated populations in Florida, which can be seen here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/LyraEDISServlet?command=getImageDetail&image_soid=FIGURE%202&document_soid=UW250&document_version=35478
They are certainly much smaller than most black bears in cooler parts of the country: some adults only weighing in between 2 and 300 lbs. One friend of mine remarked “I feel like I could tackle one (and survive).” in reference to their small size. Despite their “small” size, a number of precautions must be undertaken by campers and the like in areas where their populations are strong in order to avoid the wrong kind of encounters: things like using bear-proof trash cans and storing food in vehicles when not actively eating. Florida black bears are a stark reminder that despite being filled with malls and condos, Florida can still be a very “wild” place.
For more info on Florida Black Bears: http://www.eoearth.org/article/Florida_Black_Bear