Our mountain community is home to numerous wildlife including moose, elk, deer, mountain lions, bears, fox and coyotes. Wildlife is especially prevalent in the Pinebrook open space areas, however, some wildlife will occasionally migrate into the developed areas of Pinebrook. A good resource for information on how to handle wildlife encounters is the Park City based Wildlife Protection Society, and you can access their website at www.wildlifeprotectionsociety.com The following paragraphs summarize some of the information the Wildlife Protection Society gave us.
- While hiking and biking watch out for wildlife.
- Make noise while on the trail, such as adding bells to your backpack or bike.
- Keep your dogs on a leash or well under control.
- Be particularly alert for wildlife near water sources.
- Never feed wildlife.
- Never chase, threaten, tease or approach a wild animal.
- If you encounter a wild animal: (1) avoid eye contact, (2) slowly back away, (3) do not turn your back on an animal, and (4) give the animal wide berth.
- Never get between a mother and its young.
- Wild animals tend to migrate between their summer and winter habitats in the spring and fall, so watch out for more animals crossing roadways during the spring and fall.
There are more injuries due to moose encounters than any other wild animal in North America. Moose are prevalent in Pinebrook and can be encountered anywhere in our community. If you encounter a moose, do not threaten them, and give the animal a wide berth. Make sure you have your dog on a leash or by the collar. Never get between a cow and her calf. If a moose does charge you, get behind a tree or bush and stay still. If under attack, curl up in a ball and cover your head.
Bear sightings are beginning to increase in the Park City area, and several bear sightings were made in the Pinebrook and Summit Park areas in the past few years. Utah only has black bears. They can exhibit various colors including black, brown, blond, cinnamon and rust. Utah’s black bears are wild animals and may be dangerous if they lose their fear of humans. A bear that loses its fear of humans is usually destroyed to protect public safety. Never feed a bear.
If you encounter a black bear stay calm. Do make your presence known by making noise, yell, clap your hands, bang metallic objects together or throw rocks to scare it away. Never approach a bear or let it approach you. If it does approach you, retreat slowly by walking backwards. Never turn and run away. Make yourself appear as large as you can. If you are attached by a black bear and cannot get away, fight back, kick, scream and yell. Be as aggressive as possible. If you observe unusual or threatening behavior by a bear, please notify the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources at 801-538-4700.
Mountain Lion Encounter
Mountain lion sightings generally have been made at higher elevations in the Wasatch Mountains. Stay on the trails and you are less likely to encounter mountain lions. If you encounter a mountain lion, make yourself as BIG as you can, make noise and be prepared to fight back.
Other Wild Animal Encounters
Deer, elk, coyotes and fox generally exhibit relatively timid interaction with humans, and they will generally move away from humans that they encounter. Make sure you do not get between a mother and its young for all wild animals. Follow the recommendations provided earlier in this wildlife information.