Bear makes way through Park City
July 3, 2014
A bear made its way through a swath of Park City Wednesday afternoon, drawing the attention of police officers and startling golfers, the Park City Police Department said.
Phil Kirk, a police captain, said an officer saw the bear in the vicinity of the intersection of Mellow Mountain Road and Aerie Drive. It headed toward City Park, passing the volleyball court on its way through the city. It passed the Burger King on Park Avenue, went onto the Park City Golf Club and then into the Three Kings area, Kirk said.
Kirk saw the bear on the grounds of the Park City Golf Club at approximately 2:20 p.m., saying it was "loping along."
He said the bear continued toward the mountains west of the golf course and Thaynes Canyon. A police officer saw the bear move into the mountains. Kirk said nearby hikers told the police they saw the bear head into the higher terrain.
Kirk said seven or eight officers responded in some fashion. They blocked traffic along the bear’s route and alerted people in the vicinity to go inside. Kirk said the bear could have posed a danger.
He said the bear was a "smaller" animal that appeared to weigh approximately 250 pounds. It had brownish fur. Kirk had not seen a bear in Park City before.
The Police Department contacted Summit County Animal Control and the state Division of Wildlife Resources. The bear went into the mountains prior to the agencies responding.
"The best we could do was clear a pathway," Kirk said.
Covy Jones, a program manager with the Division of Wildlife Resources, said the animal is a black bear, the only species of bear in Utah. It is not unusual for a bear to be at Park City’s elevation at this time of year, he said. Jones, whose territory includes the Park City area, said he is not aware of another incident involving the bear, adding that he is pleased the animal headed into the mountains.
"There’s bear in and around Park City. We know that," Jones said.