Park City wildlife collisions mount, with elk, deer and rabbit hit, even before wintry weather |

Park City wildlife collisions mount, with elk, deer and rabbit hit, even before wintry weather

The Police Department fields series of cases on S.R. 224, S.R. 248 and elsewhere in community

A sign on Deer Valley Drive warns drivers of the presence of wildlife along the road. The Park City Police Department since late September has received a series of reports involving collisions between drivers and animals. Wildlife collisions sometimes increase in Park City as wintry weather arrives.
Jay Hamburger/Park Record

Drivers in Park City since late September have been involved in a series of collisions with wildlife, according to the Park City Police Department, accidents that occurred prior to the recent spell of wintry weather that could play a role in additional cases.

The Police Department regularly receives reports of collisions between drivers and animals, and the recent cases appeared to be similar to those the agency typically receives. Deer, moose and elk populate the Park City-area mountains. Collisions with deer are more common than with other animals, but the cases recently also included other species.

There is a chance of additional cases with the early snowfall in the Park City area. Wildlife usually moves to lower elevations in search of vegetation for food when snow begins at the higher elevations. Once at the more populated lower elevations, there is an increased chance of collisions.

Some of the recent cases reported to the police included:

• on Oct. 6 at 8:44 p.m., the police received a report of a driver hitting an elk — a bull — on S.R. 248. The animal was in the road after the accident, but public police logs did not provide details about the condition. The driver was not injured, the police said.

• on Oct. 4 at 9:27 p.m., a deer carcass was reported in the road on S.R. 248 east of Park City High School. In an unrelated case, at 8:43 p.m., a driver hit a deer somewhere along S.R. 224. The vehicle was damaged and continued to block the road shortly after the accident, the police said.

• on Sept. 29 at 10:27 a.m., the police were told of two deer carcasses seen over the course of several days in the area of the intersection of S.R. 224 and Meadows Drive. The person who contacted the agency desired additional patrols, according to public police logs.

• on Sept. 28 at 9:20 a.m., a rabbit was reportedly hit by a driver on American Saddler Drive. The animal was alive and on the side of the road at the time of the call.

• on Sept. 28 at 6:30 a.m., a driver in a Lexus sport-utility vehicle struck a deer on S.R. 224. The police were told the vehicle would need to be towed. The location of the deer afterward was not clear.

• on Sept. 27 at 11:39 p.m., a driver in a BMW hit a deer in the area of the intersection of S.R. 224 and Meadows Drive. The vehicle suffered unspecified damage and pulled over, the police said.

In another wildlife case, on Sept. 30 at 7:26 p.m., a mountain lion cub was seen on the edge of the road on S.R. 248 at Quinn’s Junction. The animal was alive, but the cub’s mother was not seen, the police were told. It was unclear from public police logs whether the younger animal was injured.

The police over the course of two days in late September also received reports of moose. On Sept. 29 at 3:10 p.m., three moose were seen in the area of Mellow Mountain Road and Sunnyside Drive. The police were told one of the animals was on a road and drivers were attempting to move past the moose. The next day, at 5:14 p.m., a moose was seen in the vicinity of a trail off King Road. The person who contacted the police said the animal might have suffered a broken leg, but the moose could still walk.

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