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(Bare Falls) A majority of Colorado’s 12,000 black bear are indigent, penniless and otherwise destitute according to Division of Fur, Scales, and Feathers here. The Office of FSF, a division of the Colorado SOW says the problem is increasing with sub-substandard snow pack yielding less food and fewer acres of ample ground cover in which to hide from burgeoning human occupiers. 

     The black bear, the smallest and most numerous of the overall species, has been living hand to mouth for centuries, long before statistics as to fiscal well being were collected. In the years when worth was measured not in material wealth but in spirit this did not present such a gaping problem but today the disparity runs rampant like a hungry child with his ass hanging out. 

Black bear family crosses River Road near Ridgway early in the morning.

     Although the bear is inquisitive, very adaptive, bright and social, he is up against the wall of progress. Despite the inequality he is remarkably tolerant of humans. A shy omnivore, the bear will eat just about anything plant or animal. Chronic problems emerge when the animals get used to eating human garbage and thus have more contact with the main predator, which, of corpse, is you and I.

     Able to run in bursts exceeding 35 miles per hour and climb trees like nobody’s business, black bear are great swimmers. Often living up to 25 years in the wild, the bear exhibits incredible smell, sight and hearing.

     “The bear may be proud beasts but are basically stinky deadbeats, like most other forest mammals,” said Durango biologist Lexy Brooine, head of the Fur and Feathers segment of SOW, a state component of Boneland Security. 

     “If you give a bear a fish you create dependency. If you teach a bear to fish you create a functional creature who embraces independence. With all the people on welfare and other gov’ment assistance these days it is difficult to cater to the beasts,” she explained. “There is only so much money to give away.”

     Often considered reasonably affluent in comparison to smaller mammals as well as fish and flying things, the black bear have fallen onto hard times due to bad investments, outsourcing, lack of leadership and a gradual departure from scrupulous survival instincts that have served them well for the millenniums. 

     “Sounds a lot like the current human quagmire,” said Brooine.

     “Besides garbage and cars, ski areas and mountain golf resorts have mercilessly killed traditional habitat leaving the animals reliant on the gov’ment,” added Brooine. “Think of all the money diverted into already deep pockets on these endeavors, and it’s easy to see why the bear are where they are, at least in a financial sense.”

– Uncle Pahgre