PROVO, Utah — What appeared to be one bear wandering through a Provo neighborhood Thursday morning prompted police to issue a warning to the public.
A black bear was seen wandering around 900 East Center Street after midnight, while a video taken from the grounds of the Utah State Hospital nearby shows what looks like the same bear.
Utah's extreme drought is expected to cause more sightings than usual, according to the Department of Wildlife Resources.
The Provo Police Department says people should get to a secure place if they see a bear, and never approach one to get a photo. Bears should also not be fed as that would likely draw more to the area.
The department offered these tips should people encounter a bear:
- STAND YOUR GROUND - Never back up, lie down or play dead. Stay calm and give the bear a chance to leave. Prepare to use your bear spray or another deterrent.
- DON'T RUN AWAY OR CLIMB A TREE - Black bears are excellent climbers and can run up to 35 mph — you cannot outclimb or outrun them.
- KNOW BEAR BEHAVIOR - If a bear stands up, grunts, moans or makes other sounds, it’s not being aggressive. These are the ways a bear gets a better look or smell and expresses its interest.
- IF A BEAR ATTACKS, always fight back- Never give up! People have successfully defended themselves with almost anything: rocks, sticks, backpacks, water bottles, and even their hands and feet.