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Courtesy of Division of Wildlife Resources, file

DWR warns hikers about ‘aggressive’ bear seen in Big Cottonwood Canyon

By Lauren Bennett, | Posted - Jul. 16, 2019 at 10:33 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Reports of an aggressive black bear near Lake Mary trailhead in Big Cottonwood Canyon have prompted Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources to set traps out for the bear.

DWR's Scott Root said they're looking to catch the bear and relocate it, depending on what division biologists decide after examining the animal.

The first report of the aggressive bear came from a few hikers Friday evening, who said the bear displayed aggressive behavior toward them. They said it followed them to their car on their hike back down to the parking lot near the Brighton Ski Resort parking area, Root said.

It’s possible those people saw two bears, he added.

On Sunday morning, a group of about five people reported a similar encounter with a bear behaving in the same way, Root said.

This group reported seeing two bears — one large and one small — that followed them. The larger bear also bluff charged them, which is when the animal will quickly run, then abruptly stop. Root said the bear likely did this as a warning for people to leave. He said the two encounters were likely with the same bear.

Since the reports, the division has posted signs in the area to warn hikers about the aggressive bear and inform people about why traps are set, according to Root.

If a black bear attacks, the division advises using bear spray, which studies have shown to be more than 90% effective in deterring bear attacks.

More information about black bear encounters can be found on DWR's website.

Anyone who encounters an aggressive bear is urged to contact the division. DWR's Salt Lake office phone number is 801-538-4700.

Lauren Bennett

KSL Weather Forecast