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Jul 7, 2012 8:33 PM by Alyse Rzemek

Colorado tests how well bear-proof trash bins work

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) - Colorado Parks and Wildlife researchers are testing whether reducing bears' access to human food will reduce conflicts between bears and people in urban areas.

The Durango Herald reports the agency is reimbursing the city of Durango for the $135,000 cost of placing 760 bear-resistant trash containers around the area. Wildlife officials hope to have 1,000 bear-resistant containers placed by next spring. The containers have special latches that are difficult to open without opposable thumbs.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife researcher Heather Johnson says a study at Yosemite National Park showed that bear-proofing significantly reduced bear-human conflicts, but there hasn't been a similar study in an urban setting.

The study in the Durango area is expected to take two years.

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