After a cold winter season in Park City, locals can finally begin to enjoy the warmer Spring weather. But people aren’t the only ones out and about during Spring.
Over the past couple weeks there have been a number of wildlife sightings in Park City.
The Park City Police Department has gotten calls about mother moose and their calves in roadways and elk trying to cross the road. Last Wednesday, the department got two calls in the morning and evening about large groups of elk trying to get across traffic on S.R. 224.
Scott Root with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said these types of sightings aren’t uncommon for this time of year.
"But spring is the time that they do migrate," Root said. "And a lot of people will notice that some of the deer and elk and even some moose for hanging out your roads. And as the snow melts away, and you get these new plants growing, and a lot of them are along the side of the road, we'll have a lot of big game animals kind of hanging out near roads and other areas feeding on this very tasty new vegetation."
There were also reports of mountain lion and bobcat sightings late last month. One person who lives off of Iron Mountain Trail reported seeing a bobcat five times in their backyard in the span of two weeks.
Root said the abundance of sightings isn’t surprising.
"Mountain lions, of course, are usually associated geographically near deer because that's their number one prey source," he said. "So if you have deer hanging out, then you'll probably have a mountain lion or two. And we're also noticing that we're getting more and more people that have like the ring doorbell and other types of activated security systems that go right to your phone. So, we're getting a lot more sightings just because security systems are finding animals."
He said DWR will respond to calls where wildlife is posing an immediate threat. He added they can also help lead confused animals out of residential areas.
"We're here to help people if they have, maybe a dangerous situation for the animal or for public safety, and that's what we're here for," he said. "But if you see a moose up on the hillside, and it's not really posing any danger or a mountain lion - you see it way up on the mountain - just consider yourself lucky. And enjoy that wildlife experience."
DWR has partnered with the Hogle Zoo and Utah State University to educate people on wildlife safety - creating a website to inform people on how to handle conflicts with animals. For more information you can visit wildawareutah.org.