LOCAL NEWS

Deep Mountain Snow Spurs Increase In Residential Wildlife Sightings

Feb 25, 2019, 6:20 PM | Updated: 7:42 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Some of our neighbors on the Wasatch Front have had close encounters with wildlife over the past weekend: moose, mountain goats, and even mountain lions.

Wildlife sightings are common in Utah deep snow. This winter is forcing some animals out of the mountains and into backyards.

“We were just in the kitchen having breakfast,” said Darren Spencer of Bountiful. “When, all of a sudden, here comes a mama moose and her baby walking right past the front of the house.”

That’s how Sunday started for Spencer and his family.

“They tried the gate, and then wandered around the front of the house and tried the other gate and then went back up the canyon this way.”

Spencer thinks the moose were hungry.

“We’ve been here about 20 years, and never seen a moose in the neighborhood,” he said.

Snow-pack above the neighborhood is deeper than average, burying what the moose might otherwise eat.

“They could have been pushed down because of the snow,” said Scott Root, a conservation manager with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Root said moose and elk typically stay higher on the mountain because they are hearty enough. Some winters, like this one, they can’t dig deep enough in the snow for their food.

“They’re trying to forage, and it gets a little more difficult in the higher elevations,” said Root.

KSL-TV’s Andrew Wittenberg caught video last weekend of a moose last weekend as it was running down Big Cottonwood Canyon Road.

“Moose are typically able to spend the winter just fine in the higher elevations,” said Root. “But, with deeper snow, some of those will come down as well.”

In Salt Lake County, three mountain lions were reported close to homes Saturday.

The most alarming of these encounters was for Miles Maxfield in Olympus Cove Saturday. He spotted not one, but three mountain lions right in the backyard of his parents’ home.

“The first time I saw it I was kind of scared because I’ve never seen a mountain lion in the wild before,“ said Miles.

One of the mountain lions even walked right by the window.

“Once I realized that since I was inside I was safe — I just kind of was looking at it and they’re pretty beautiful,” he said.

An image captured in video taken by Miles Maxfield in Olympus Cove of a mountain lion near his home.

An image captured in video taken by Miles Maxfield in Olympus Cove of a mountain lion near his home.

Root said the mountain lions are likely following their favorite food source, the deer, which are looking for vegetation because their forage is buried.

“Most of the time, our mountain lions are staying out of the city. But, if the deer are down in town, there’s probably going to be another sighting or two of a mountain lion.”

A mountain goat even showed up on the streets of Cottonwood Heights.

Root says many of them winter in the rocks above the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

“We have a decent population of mountain goats that actually spend the winter there at the valves of both canyons,” said Root.

As the weather warms..

“Big game species in addition to the mountain lions will probably start heading back up on the mountain,” he said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

...
Tamara Vaifanua

Cedar City to honor beloved teacher with a park

There’s an effort underway in Cedar City to honor a beloved teacher who lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this year.
11 hours ago
(Derek Petersen/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Suspect dead, officer injured after South Salt Lake shooting

One person is dead and a South Salt Lake police officer was injured after shots were fired early Tuesday morning.
11 hours ago
Domestic violence organizations saw a significant increase in request for shelter during the pandem...
Ashley Moser

Advocates encourage victims, perpetrators to seek help as domestic violence increases

Domestic violence organizations saw a significant increase in requests for shelter during the pandemic.
1 day ago
UDOT says it spend over $1.5 million on fixing potholes in the last fiscal year, FY 2022....
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Submitting a claim to the government for pothole damage? Good luck with that

A pothole can do serious and expensive damage to your car. But as Get Gephardt found, if you hit a bad spot on a Utah road, don’t expect the city or state to rush to pay for your repairs.
1 day ago
We All Belong logo....
Debbie Worthen

Parent advocacy group celebrates kids with special needs

A rally in Draper brings hundred of people together to celebrate inclusion for kids with special needs.
1 day ago
American Leadership Academy....
Shelby Lofton

A Spanish Fork high school homecoming dress code causes tension between students and faculty

Upset students are speaking out tonight after being turned away from their homecoming dance.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Deep Mountain Snow Spurs Increase In Residential Wildlife Sightings