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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/.

NPR

'We're Mostly Republicans': New Hampshire Voters Explained By 'Our Town'

After NPR's Bob Mondello used The Music Man to help explain the Iowa caucuses, he wished there was a musical of Our Town so he could do the same for New Hampshire. It turns out there is one.
NPR

Gulf Of Mexico Open For Fish-Farming Business

For the first time, companies can apply to set up fish farms in U.S. federal waters. The government says the move will help reduce American dependence on foreign seafood and improve security.
WAMU 88.5

What's Behind Trends In U.S. Violent Crime Rates

FBI data suggest there was a slight uptick in violent crime in the first half of last year, but overall violent crime rates in the U.S. have dropped dramatically over the last twenty years. What led to the long-term decline, and why do some say it’s likely to continue?

WAMU 88.5

Blocked: Twitter's Role In Combating Violent Extremism

Over the course of seven months, Twitter has suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts.

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