Human run-ins with black bears nearly doubled in 2019 in Utah
Nov 18, 2019, 3:38 PM
(Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, via AP)
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says 53 people reported encountering black bears this year, compared with 27 in 2018.
These encounters included bears rummaging through garbage and coming onto campgrounds, with one bear biting a teenage boy’s face as he camped in Moab this summer.
Game Mammals Coordinator Darren DeBloois is not surprised by the increase because many bears were hibernating during a longer than normal snow season.
“When they did come out, they were really hungry and were looking for any kind of sources of food they could find. So, we had a lot of early encounters in campgrounds and had to move a lot of bears that were places they shouldn’t have been,” DeBloois said.
And many of the black bears that were moved around the state were young males who were out on their own for the first time.
“They’re looking for new places to eat, especially young males…We saw a lot of young bears trying to find a new home,” DeBloois said.