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Bear scare: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources still working to get bear out of Park City

Posted at 9:39 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 22:19:19-04

PARK CITY, Utah — A bear wandered onto FOX 13 News viewer Wendy Preston’s back deck on Tuesday, going after her bird feeder, she said.

After a big holiday, like the Fourth of July, a lot of scents can lure bears into human spaces, said Scott Root, the conservation outreach manager for Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources.

“There's hummingbird feeders, and residents might have barbecue grills that maybe aren't perfectly clean that type of thing," he said. "So this bear was being rewarded by coming to town and finding some treats. Typically, if they're getting rewarded, and they come back to the same area, they don't really want to leave because they've got a reward.”

For the past couple of days, a conservation officer has been “hazing” the bear: gently scaring it away from neighborhoods and back into the hills.

“We haze it with a little beanbag from a shotgun that stings but it doesn't hurt the bear," said Root. "That gives it an unpleasant experience, and they often just run off. Well, we did that, and it still came back, so we may have to relocate it.”

The DWR might need to try a more direct approach to get the bear back home, he said.

“We may just have to put up a live culvert trap and bait it," he said. "Get it to come in the door, close it behind it, and we just haul it off further up the mountain, you know, a few miles away.”

For now, there’s no danger to the public, Root said; this bear is nothing to fear.

“Bears typically they just have their heads to the ground and they're sniffing," he said. "They have that great sense of smell. They're looking for roots and bulbs and maybe ground squirrels or whatever, but they're not really out to get us.”

If you spot this bear in Summit County, the sheriff’s office asks you call to let them know at 435-615-3600.