Utah wildlife officials say number of bear encounters has increased

Stock image, St. George News

PROVO, Utah (AP) — Wildlife officials say the number of reported human encounters with black bears in Utah has almost doubled since last year.

The Daily Herald reported Monday that the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has received 53 reports statewide of incidents involving black bears since Nov. 7, two involving physical contact with a person.

Wildlife officials say there were 27 reports in 2018, and more in 2017.

Officials say most of the reported incidents occurred between Salt Lake City and Santaquin, including in northern Zion National Park.

Officials say the increased sightings could be due to the increased number of bears in the state over the last decade, but it doesn’t indicate an upward trend.

Officials urge campers and canyon residents to secure food and stay informed with safety tips online.

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Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldextra.com

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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