Environment

Beware the bears, Park City Police say

Several recent sightings and one report of an "aggressive" bear Sunday at Park City Mountain Resort have caused concern among local authorities

PARK CITY, Utah – It is relatively uncommon for people to report concerning encounters with bears, but recently, the Park City Police Department has been notified of a couple of sightings, including one that included “aggressive” bear behavior, police logs indicate.

The encounter occurred Sunday evening on a hiking trail at Park City Mountain Resort.

Two other reports of bear sightings in the hills near town have also been reported. No one has been injured or threatened, but officials are urging people to learn what to do if you encounter a bear.

Here are some tips to stay safe if you 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 black bear attacks, always fight back. And never give up! People have successfully defended themselves with almost anything: rocks, sticks, backpacks, water bottles and even their hands and feet.
Black bears are the only bear species currently in Utah, and they have an amazing sense of smell. They also have no problem eating the same type of food that people eat. As a result, many of the conflicts between people and bears happen because the bears start scavenging for the food that humans are eating and cooking in the bear’s natural habitat.

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