PARK CITY, Utah -- A black bear caught rummaging through garbage cans in a Summit County neighborhood Monday is now running free in a remote part of central Utah.
“I was just in my room up in Pinebrook and I heard a bunch of dogs barking went to the window to check it out,” said Rachel Charles who woke up to the 70-pound bear right outside her home around 6 a.m. on Monday.
“I thought, ‘this isn't something you see every day, ya know in my back yard,’” Charles said.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office sent out what they call a red alert, telling people who live in that area to be aware. Hours later the Division of Wildlife Resources cornered the bear and shot it with a tranquilizer.
“Then we were able to put it in a trap give it some drugs that reverse the effects of the tranquilizer and then we were able to take it to a remote area and let it go,” said DWR spokesman Mark Hadley.
Throughout the past several weeks there have been a number of bear sightings in Summit County.
But DWR officials say there's no way to tell if the bear caught Monday is the same one from all of the previous sightings.
“There are a lot of bears up in that area even if we did happen to capture the bear that was spotted a week ago that doesn't mean that tomorrow a different bear will come into that neighborhood,” Hadley said.
Charles said these pictures won't be the last one she takes of a bear in her neighborhood.
“We're in the wilderness, I mean, it's their area too. I'm not that surprised -- we hear of bear encounters all the time but once and a while you hear about a bear and we're kind of in their territory as well,” Charles
DWR officials say the key to keeping bears away is to keep food out of reach. Trash cans should wait to be taken to the curb until the morning of collection day. Also, pet food or bird feeders should not be left out. Any odor can attract them.