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Wildlife Officials Tranquilize, Relocate Multiple Bears Across Utah

(Utah Division of Wildlife Resources/Twitter)

PAYSON, Utah – Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officials said they immobilized and relocated a black bear that was found near a farm in Payson.

Not long after he stepped out the door and checked on the cattle Friday morning, Kenny Young spotted it just down the path from him.

A black bear was perched at the base of a tree before it saw Young and started climbing.

“(It) got up in that branch about 25-feet off the ground,” Young said. “It’d just kind of ‘uhh, uhh’—you know, grunt at you.”

Young pulled his truck up close to the tree to try to keep it from escaping, called 911 and managed to capture some pictures of the bear as Payson Police and officers from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources responded.

“The bear must have gotten tired of sitting in that tree and being patient because when they showed up with a bear trap to capture him, to relocate him, he came out of the tree and took off,” Young said.

Young said the bear managed to spook the horses and cattle before taking refuge in a swamp.

“I stuck around for a while to see if he ever came out,” Young said. “Pretty quick, he came out.”

Wildlife officers scrambled over to that area of the farm located near 900 North and 500 East and were able to tranquilize the bear.

“Everything went really well,” said Scott Root, DWR conservation outreach manager.

Root said the bear, which was believed to be between 200 and 250 lbs., was taken to a remote area of Utah County and released into the wild.

Young said this wasn’t actually his first close encounter with a bear.

A bear once chased him up a tree, taking his shoe in the process, according to Young, and he was also chased out of some brush by another bear.

“He was eating a lot of apricots and living off the fruit-growers out here,” Young chuckled. “He’ll live a good life. It was a happy ending.”

DWR officials said bear encounters have been on the rise in Utah this summer. In July alone, more than double the number of encounters had been reported compared to the same time last year.

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“We’re seeing more bear activity this year. We are kind of surprised by it actually,” said Scott Root, Community Outreach Manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. “By far, most of those encounters have taken place in residential areas, in the foothills.”

Also on Friday, officials with the Department of Natural Resources and Moab Valley Fire rescued a sow and two cubs in southern Utah.

Today Moab Valley Fire Department was asked to assist The Utah DNR with the removal of a sow and 2 cubs from a tree. …

Posted by Moab Valley Fire Department on Friday, August 23, 2019

Authorities already had to relocate one bear that was found near Mapleton earlier this summer. That incident came just two days after a bear was located and euthanized after making contact with and scratching a boy.

For more information about wildlife awareness and safety visit Wild Aware Utah.

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