Provo police urge caution in wake of local bear sightings

Bear sighting. Photo: Provo Police Department

PROVO, Utah, May 20, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Provo Police Department is asking residents to be cautious and careful after multiple reports of bears within city limits.

One bear was spotted just after midnight on Thursday morning.

“This morning at 12:49 AM there was a black bear wandering around 900 E. Center St.,” says a PPD statement issued Thursday evening.

“The DWR has had multiple calls this year already about black bears seen within city limits. The DWR has stated that with a drought year we may have more sightings than usual.”

Anyone who sees a bear is asked to contact dispatch at 801-852-6210 and report it immediately.

“Keep your distance!,” the police statement says. “Try to get to a secure place behind closed doors or in a vehicle. Do not approach for a photo opportunity, often times this will drive the bear further into the city.

Please do not feed a bear as it may bring more around, the PPD statement says.

Know what to do if you encounter a bear:

  • 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 — Never give up! People have successfully defended themselves with almost anything: rocks, sticks, backpacks, water bottles, and even their hands and feet.
A black bear high tails it over an urban fence on Thursday, May 20, 2021. Photo: Provo Police Department

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