Bear is nabbed in the Uintas
June 26, 2007
Officers have trapped a black bear blamed for raiding garbage cans and trying to enter a cabin in the Uinta Mountains.
The roughly 120-pound bear was discovered Monday night inside a culvert trap at the Ledgefork campground east of Oakley.
"He was extremely unhappy last night," Bruce Johnson, a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officer, said Tuesday, adding that the bear was breathing hard and attempting to reach outside the trap. "He was wanting to get you."
The black bear, which Johnson said is nearly four years old, was being held Tuesday afternoon at a fish hatchery near Kamas as officials decided its fate.
"I can’t let my emotions get involved," Johnson said when asked if the bear would be exterminated. "I’m sad if it has to be euthanized."
He insisted that his supervisors would likely make the decision.
Recommended Stories For You
"We’re here because the bear did cause problems, because the bear was interacting in a campground," Johnson explained.
The popular Ledgefork campground near Smith and Morehouse reservoir was still closed Tuesday afternoon.
"[Bears] are very tough, durable, fast and deceptively strong," Johnson said. "It’s a neat animal, extremely impressive and I wish he was out running on the mountain."
But the bear became a serious nuisance when officers say it attempted to enter a cabin
. The bear trapped Monday is the same animal officers chased from the area with dogs last week, Johnson said.
"If it tried to get in a cabin once, there is a good likelihood it will try again," he added.
Meanwhile, the killing of an 11-year-old boy last week by a black bear in Utah County won’t impact whether the bear trapped in the Uintas is euthanized, Johnson said.
"We have all agreed that we will not have a knee-jerk reaction to what happened in Utah County," he said. "We aren’t going to react due to another incident."
Officials expected to decide Tuesday whether to put the bear down.
"It could take the rest of the day or it could take five minutes," Johnson said, adding that he didn’t know what his bosses would decide.