LOCAL NEWS

Black bear spotted near Morgan Middle School

May 16, 2022, 9:21 AM | Updated: Jun 22, 2022, 2:16 pm

MORGAN, Utah — Utah Division of Wildlife Resources crews say a black bear was spotted at Morgan Middle School Monday morning.

DWR spokesperson Faith Jolley said the animal climbed a tree at an apartment complex near the school, which is located at 115 East Young St.

“My husband left for work and then he comes running back inside and said, ‘I think the bear is in our backyard,'” said Mackenzie Glover.

Sure enough, the bear from the school was now in her backyard.

“He just looked afraid,” she said.

Wildlife officials called a local houndsman with trained hounds to keep the bear in place.

“It’s a large bear,” said DWR’s Mark Hadley. “It was a 5- to 6-year-old male, so it was in really good condition, really good shape.”

Glover and her daughter watched as the bear was tranquilized.

“They did an excellent job,” Glover said. “They didn’t have to kill it and did it the best way to be safe for the bear and us.”

According to DWR, bear sightings become more common during a drought, when food sources are scarce and bears have to look for alternative sources for food.

What do you do when you encounter a bear? DWR shares the following suggestions:

  • Stand your ground: Never back up, lie down or play dead. Stay calm and give the bear a chance to leave. Prepare to use your bear spray or another deterrent.
  • Don’t run away or climb a tree. Black bears are excellent climbers and can run up to 35 mph — you cannot outclimb or outrun them.
  • Know bear behavior. If a bear stands up, grunts, moans or makes other sounds, it’s not being aggressive. These are the ways a bear gets a better look or smell and expresses its interest.
  • If a black bear attacks, always fight back. And never give up! People have successfully defended themselves with almost anything: rocks, sticks, backpacks, water bottles and even their hands and feet.

When to report a bear sighting:

If you see a bear in the foothills or canyon areas, they should only be reported if they are being aggressive or if they are getting into trash, fruit trees or causing damage.
Report a bear that has wandered into lower-elevation areas and is within city limits or in heavily-populated areas so the DWR can relocate it.

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Black bear spotted near Morgan Middle School