Black Bears Killed By Traffic

Colorado's black bear population is having another brutal year. The state Division of Wildlife reports almost as many bears have been killed on highways this year as were killed by all factors excluding hunting last year. The D-O-W says 114 bears have died trying to cross roads since they first emerged from dens in March and April. Federal game damage control officers, landowners, state wildlife officers and various accidents claimed 119 bears last year. Forty-seven vehicle encounters occurred in 2001. Department spokesman Todd Malmsbury says the bears have to look for water as well as food. He says that requires them to cross highways where they are exposed to high-speed traffic.