Officials post warning signs after latest bear sighting in City Creek Canyon

Posted at 9:30 PM, Jun 04, 2014

CITY CREEK CANYON, Utah -- There's been another bear sighting, the second one this week, and this time it was in City Creek Canyon.

A citizen spotted a black bear Tuesday. While there wasn't a confrontation, Salt Lake City utility crews felt it was credible enough to warn hikers, runners and cyclists.

Crews posted new warning signs at the entrance and parking lot of the canyon.

When runner Elizabeth Gosen spotted them, she reacted.

"(I'm) a little nervous running by myself, probably better being on the road, normally when I run here, I run on the trail," she said.

She and other runners told FOX 13 News they don't typically carry bear spray or mace, which Division of Wildlife Resource officials said can be critical during a bear encounter.

"I'll keep my eye out, but that's part of being up here in the mountains, ya know," added Justin Rich, who regularly runs in the canyon.

Wildlife officials said bear sighting are not unusual this time of year. Bears come out of hibernation in the spring, then search for food.

Last July, surveillance video spotted a black bear rummaging through garbage cans near the City Creek Canyon trailhead. Experts said the drought caused them to forage lower on the mountain in search of food, and DWR officials said that could be a factor this year.

It's the second bear sighting in just a couple of days. On Monday morning, a young black bear walked into a cabin near the Brighton Ski Resort in search of its next meal.

It didn't attack the homeowner, but he hunkered down with a gun until wildlife crews could tranquilize the animal. DWR later released the bear in Spanish Fork Canyon away from homes and campgrounds.

Meanwhile, wildlife officials are warning the public to keep food away from bears and if you encounter one: don't run. The bear may think you are its prey. It's better to stand your ground.

"The steps are basically, raise your arms, appear bigger, make a lot of nose and that typically should get the bear to take off, not always though, wildlife is unpredictable," said Scott Root, Outreach Manager with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

DWR officials added that if you have food, keep it in air tight containers since bears can sense the odor. During Monday's incident in Big Cottonwood Canyon, the bear was attracted to a hummingbird feeder right outside that cabin near Brighton.