Park City wildlife collisions involve deer, mountain lion
The Park City Police Department has responded to a series of collisions between drivers and wildlife since early in the winter, including cases on the state-highway entryways and on neighborhood roads.
The collisions generally involved species like deer and elk. In one of the cases, though, a driver hit a mountain lion in an extremely rare collision with one of the predators.
The Police Department responds to the cases on City Hall-controlled streets while it may be the local agency or the Utah Highway Patrol that is sent to the scene of a collision on S.R. 224 or S.R. 248.
Wildlife collisions oftentimes increase after the first snow early in the winter. The snow at higher elevations brings the animals down in search of vegetation for grazing. The animals at that point move through the populated areas of Park City, raising the chances of collisions with drivers.
The collision with the mountain lion, which resulted in the animal’s death, was especially notable as mountain lion sightings are infrequent. The driver in the Dec. 13 accident, reported at 7:25 p.m., hit the mountain lion on an outbound lane of S.R. 224 close to the McPolin Farm. The Police Department said at the time the animal darted in front of a sport utility vehicle.
Some of the other cases have included:
• on Dec. 18 at 2:44 a.m., a driver hit a deer on S.R. 224, close to intersection with Snow Creek Drive. The vehicle suffered two flat tires, the police were told.
• on Dec. 15 at 2:07 p.m., a driver ran into a deer on S.R. 224 at or close to the intersection with Holiday Ranch Loop Road. The police said the collision created a traffic hazard.
• on Nov. 29 at 5:51 p.m., a driver hit a deer on S.R. 248. The Police Department said the deer was seen “dragging itself across the road” after the collision.
The Police Department, meanwhile, has also received a series of reports from people worried about animals that were seen approaching or crossing roads. A herd of elk, described as large, was seen close to Meadows Drive at a little bit before 5 p.m. on Jan. 4, a deer herd was reported to be moving close to S.R. 248 at 4:26 p.m. on Dec. 24 and two moose were spotted on Jan. 8 at 7:32 a.m. close to the road along S.R. 224 in the vicinity of the McPolin Farm.
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Each of the Park City area’s state legislators have a lot more than just ski resorts and restaurants on their mind – try roads, natural gas and a state university as well.