- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved an experiment to see if killing mountain lions and bears will boost the state’s declining mule deer population.

The plan approved Wednesday will test whether removing some lions and bears, which prey on deer, will result in higher deer survival rates.

Up to 10 lions and 25 black bears would be killed each year for three years in one area near Rifle. About 60 lions would be killed over three years in another area near Salida, although that study will last nine years.

Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Lauren Truitt says licensed or contracted hunters will be used.

The Denver Post reports (https://tinyurl.com/jgjsfas) some biologists and wildlife advocates call the plan ineffective and inhumane. They say human development is the main problem for deer, not predators.

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