Bear death toll on roads adding up | AspenTimes.com

Bear death toll on roads adding up

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

PITKIN COUNTY – A black bear cub was killed Friday in the upvalley lanes of Highway 82 near the Pitkin County landfill – the second bear killed in that vicinity this week.

The cub weighed 50 to 55 pounds. Earlier in the week, a bear tipping the scales at 500 to 600 pounds also died on the highway near the landfill, said Perry Will, area wildlife manager with the Glenwood Springs office of the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Perry said he did not hear any reports of human injuries resulting from the collisions, but the vehicle that hit the big bear required towing, he said.

“Road kill is a fairly big issue for bears,” Will said. “I don’t know how you get away from that.”

Bears are most active at dawn and dusk and in the nighttime, when they’re most difficult to spot.

As of Friday afternoon, the DOW had counted four bears killed on Highway 82 this year, two on Highway 133 and four on Interstate 70 in the area managed by the Glenwood office of the agency.

In 2007, a difficult year for bears, the DOW tallied 80 animals killed on roads within the area served by the Glenwood office, Will said.

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When the DOW handles a bear carcass, it removes the hide when it’s salvageable; they are sold at an annual auction, he said.