Nope, Bears Aren’t Addicted To The Food In Your Trash Cans. So, Why Are They Hanging Around Town?

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Photo: HumanBearInteraction
Former Colorado Parks and Wildlife research biologist Heather Johnson helped conduct the six-year study.

There have been a lot of incidents of bears in close proximity to people in Colorado recently: in cars, road races -- even playing the piano. The hows and whys of human-bear interactions like these are part of a six-year study by the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

Among the questions the department hoped to answer in the study was the idea that bears may be interacting with people more because they've become addicted to the human food they find when scrounging through trash cans -- or cars. Heather Johnson helped conduct the study while working as a wildlife research biologist with the CPW. Johnson, who now works for the United States Geological Survey, spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner about some of the preliminary results from the study.

Audio of this interview will be available after noon Wednesday.