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There's A 'Bear Epidemic' Out West, And It's 'About To Get Worse'

As Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen has reported for All Things Considered, encounters between humans and bears are up sharply across the western U.S. The bears are having to cover more territory because of droughts that have dried up some of their natural foods, including berries.

Today, ABC News adds that "across the West, communities are in the midst of a black bear epidemic this summer as the hungry critters venture into backyards and neighborhoods in a search for food."

And now, with cooler weather coming, bears are starting to "bulk up for winter hibernation," ABC adds. "In other words, the problem is about to get worse."

Aspen, Colo., already logged a record "292 bear calls in August, a whopping 668 percent increase compared with the 38 bear calls logged in the same month last year," the Aspen Times reports.

In Vail, Colo., last week, the local Daily posted photos of a "ninja bear" that evaded capture.

Yes, we do seem to have a thing for stories about bears, real and toy:

-- Bears With Taste For Beer Have Quite A Night In Norway.

-- Sweet Story: Bear Breaks Into Candy Shop, Feasts; Camera Captures It All.

-- Belarus Invaded By Teddy Bears! Two Generals Sacked.

-- 'Falling Bear,' We Hardly Knew You; Famous Bruin Killed On Highway.

-- Jewel (The Bear) Gives Birth To (At Least) Two Cubs.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Climate change presents obstacles for just about everywhere in the United States — but rising temperatures are expected to be felt keenly in a number of Virginia's important economic areas.

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Obama To Detail Tougher Plan To Fight Climate Change

President Obama will unveil climate change regulations Monday, expected to set tougher limits on coal than previously proposed. NPR's Scott Horsley previews the announcement with host Rachel Martin.
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Despite Host Controversy, Amazon Takes A Chance On 'Top Gear'

The trio that made Top Gear the world's biggest car show will return to the small screen in a new show for Amazon Prime. The BBC canned one of its hosts last year after a fight with a producer.

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