OH MY GOODNESS!! I am a bit slow at catching up on my local newspaper but after a few visits to the local gym and a hanging out on the stair climber I came upon this story and nearly fell off of the machine! Really? A bear right in the neighborhood! The scary thing is I have run all Summer long up in the foothills of this area. What would I have done if I encountered this thing out on the trail all alone? I'm such a big chicken, and I'm pretty sure bears will go after chickens. After quite a few months of feeling a very strong urge to get some pepper spray I finally did it. (Thank you brand new store Scheel's) I'm still not sure how safe I'm going to feel out there on the trails with it but I'm hoping it helps. If you'd like to know more about the local bear continue reading below.
The bear was spotted in a residential raspberry patch near the foothills at about 3 a.m., said Scott Root of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Root and others tranquilized the bear upon arrival between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. The incident happened last month.
"It was a very residential area," Root told the Daily Herald on Tuesday.
"Neighborhood visits this September from a 250-pound adolescent black bear, and from a much larger bull moose, have caused quite a stir," police chief Cody Cullimore told residents in the city's October newsletter. Both the bear and the moose were relocated to the mountains without incident by police and state Division of Wildlife Resources officers, "but it is a reminder that we live in their world," Cullimore said.
While moose sightings and removals are fairly common in Utah County and throughout the state, the bear removal is more rare, John Fairchild of the DWR told the Daily Herald.
A half dozen moose have been removed from Wasatch Front neighborhoods this year.
"Last week we moved a cow [moose] and two calves out of Park City," he said. "When they come into town they get darted and transported back to the mountains."
Bears are more frequently removed from campground areas, but rarely from residential neighborhoods, he said. Most bears are simply removed to the mountains, but an aggressive bear or a male that repeatedly returns to a campground or neighborhood may be euthanized. Cubs are sometimes taken to a refuge for the summer and then released back into the wild when they are old enough to care for themselves. Moose are taken to an area near Price, where officials are working to repopulate the herd near Range Creek.
Cullimore told residents that the bear and moose, which were removed from Lindon last month, likely turned up because of dry conditions in the mountains. They came into neighborhoods in search of water and food.
"Although these larger animals visit us less frequently, wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, rattlesnakes, lots of other kinds of snakes, lizards, scorpions and tarantulas are an almost daily occurrence," the police chief wrote. "We must always remember that we are members of the natural environment and that we are not alone. Large animals of many varieties call our area home, and some of them believe that it all still belongs to them. Please remember that due to the available food supply and water in the mountains, this could be a tough fall and winter for our wild friends. We expect to see more animals than normal in town if their conditions in the hills get desperate."
Always remember to give wild animals a wide berth and never try to approach, corner or catch them, he said.
"Every one of these critters can move faster than you think, and cute and cuddly can turn into angry and defensive in a hurry," he said.
The best approach is to call police, he said.