Drought could bring bears closer to people

May 21, 2021, 4:10 PM | Updated: Jun 22, 2021, 9:06 am
bear drought...
Black bear in a Provo neighhborhood (Photo: Provo PD)
(Photo: Provo PD)

Provo police said a bear was spotted wandering through the neighborhood near 900 East and Center Street early Friday morning. The bear didn’t hurt anyone, but its appearance is raising concern that this year’s drought could bring predators into urban areas this summer.

Bears depend on many of the same food and water sources as other animals, such as deer and moose.

Bears and drought

Darren DeBloois, game animal coordinator with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said animals will seek out areas where they can find water.

“They’ll congregate around those water sources instead of being more widely spread out,” DeBloois told KSL NewsRadio. “And that would go for urban settings where there’s vegetation that’s being irrigated.”

DeBloois said deer and other animals are also attracted to agricultural operations such as alfalfa fields, fed by irrigation water.

Bears looking for food and water might also come into urban areas. DeBloois said DWR is prepared to respond to reports of bears and other predators where they don’t belong.

“[They] could be showing up where we wouldn’t expect them to be — all the way to eating garbage or killing livestock or pets,” he said. 

Bears that lose their fear of people or act aggressively pose the greatest danger.

“Obviously, we’d like to catch and translocate those animals if we can, but if they’ve shown any kinds of aggressive tendencies toward people, they’ll have to be euthanized,” DeBloois said.

Black bear attacks on humans are rare, but experts advise standing your ground if a bear gets too close and making yourself appear as large as possible. Don’t run away — bears can run faster than people — and understand that a bear standing up might just be investigating its environment. But in the unlikely event that a bear does attack, be prepared to fight. People have stopped bear attacks with rocks, sticks or backpacks and even their hands and feet.  

Today’s Top Stories

All News

winter storm...
Devin Oldroyd

UDOT warns winter storm bringing roadway impacts

The Utah Department of Transportation is warning drivers that an upcoming winter storm will impact the road from 6 am Monday to noon Tuesday.
18 hours ago
I-15 crash in Murray...
Devin Oldroyd

One person flees I-15 crash in Murray

One person fled from an I-15 crash in Murray Sunday afternoon. According to Utah Highway Patrol, the suspect has been apprehended.
18 hours ago
An attendee walks through the Midway Ice Castles during opening night in Midway on Friday, Dec. 29,...
Devin Oldroyd

Construction begins on Midway ice castles on icicle at a time

Construction has begun on the Midway ice castles. Each castle is crafted one icicle at a time according to a press release.
18 hours ago
Irene Cara in 'Fame' (Photo courtesy of Mgm/Kobal, Shutterstock)...
MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer

‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer-actor Irene Cara dies at 63

singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance ... What a Feeling” from 1983's “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63.
18 hours ago
Image of the scene in Spanish Fork where a horse was hit by a car that drove through a parade (Phot...
Chandler Holt

Car drives into parade, hits horse and rider

A car drove through barricades and onto a parade route. The vehicle drove for 7 blocks before striking the horse and rider.
18 hours ago
Indoor Plants Image...
Carlos Artiles Fortun

KSL Greenhouse: How to manage houseplant pests

This time of the year it can be easy for houseplant pests to enter your house while you are protecting your plants for winter.
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Drought could bring bears closer to people