Black bear struck by vehicle in Milburn area

The number of black bears in Utah has increased over the past several years. While it’s thrilling to see a black bear in the wild, having more bears in Utah has led to more run-ins between bears and people. Conflicts between bears and domestic cattle and sheep are increasing too. (Photo courtesy of Utah DWR)

MILBURN — A juvenile black bear was recently hit by a vehicle and killed on Highway 89 north of Fairview, west of Milburn. A Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) conservation officer received a report about it and responded to the scene on Oct. 16 to investigate.

It appeared the bear had been hit multiple times, making it impossible to salvage the hide of the bear. Conservation officers estimate the bear was between two or three years old. The officers removed the bear from the scene and will dispose of the animal.

While black bears can be found in most parts of Utah, this area where the bear was hit is not a common area for them.

If individuals do discover a dead or injured bear or other big game animal, they are encouraged to contact the nearest DWR office. The Central Region office may be reached at (801) 491-5678, or visit 1115 North Main Street, Springville.

Utah’s mountains and forests are home to thousands of black bears. The bears often live in the same places Utahns camp, hike and build their houses. This poses a safety concern for both humans and bears.

If a bear obtains food from a home or campsite — even once — it may become aggressive in future attempts. This almost guarantees the bear will have to be destroyed. Fortunately, there are steps everyone can take to protect both themselves and the bear.

The number one thing to do is camp and hike responsibly. Sloppy campers and hikers don’t just endanger themselves, but also future visitors. Bears have amazing memories, they will return to a site repeatedly if they ate there at some point in the past.

For more bear safety tips and precautions, visit https://wildlife.utah.gov/living-with-bears.

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