Much of Colorado, including the western slope, has had its share of problems with black bears conflicting with humans. This has led Colorado Parks & Wildlife to do a study of bears over the last six years.

This particular research project took place near Durango giving us a look at a hibernating black bear and her cubs. Researchers are trying to determine if the behavior of bears is changing or if the bear population is on the rise.

This bear had been fitted with a tracking collar three years ago, and so researchers were able to tranquilize the bear, remove the collar, and collect the data that had been recorded. In this case, the mama bear ran about 50 yards from the den after being tranquilized and had to be carried back to the den while researchers kept the bear cubs warm.

Last summer, three bears were euthanized after damaging homes and cars in Durango. Remember the bear caught on video terrorizing Fruita neighborhoods a couple of years ago?

According to a report from CP & W, human death and/or injury due to black bear conflict is rare in Colorado, but bears are a nuisance when they are rummaging for food and do cause damage to property and livestock. Over the last 20 years, statistical data shows an escalation of bear damage beginning in April and climaxing in June and July.

To minimize the potential for bear/human conflict and keep both species safe, CPW offers some great advice including keeping garbage in a secure location and cleaning up thoroughly after picnics. This CP & W video tells you what to do if you should encounter a bear.