Bear sightings in Utah

Posted at 10:18 PM, Jul 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-08 00:18:01-04

THE HIGH UINTAS, Utah – A man came face-to-face with a bear while camping, and he managed to scare the animal away by hitting it on its snout.

Officials said the man was camping out in the High Uintas, and he noticed holes in his tent around sunrise.

A Division of Wildlife Resources spokesperson said the bear was sniffing around the man’s campsite. The man smacked the bear on the nose and scared it away.

This is the second bear sighting in Utah this week. A black bear was spotted near the mouth of City Creek Canyon last Sunday.

Mark Hadley, Division of Wildlife Resources, said people shouldn't run if they see a black bear.

He said: “If you do that, bears are used to their prey seeing them and turning and running away, so if you turn and run the bear is likely to pursue you, because it thinks, 'Oh, that's my prey trying to escape me.' ...So what you want to do with a black bear is you want to stand your ground, make yourself as big as you can, speak loudly to the bear, and kind of be assertive with the animal."

Experts advise campers to store their food in places bears can’t reach, as leaving food out can attract the animals.