With more snow in some areas of Utah, wild animals are making appearances in unexpected places

BRIGHTON, Utah -- A snowboarder had a close encounter with a pair of moose at Brighton Ski Resort late last week.

“Initially I came around the corner and they were probably a good fifty yards away,” said Hall.

Hall says a group of skiers spooked the pair. When the moose ran, he started to follow catching part of their gallop on his cellphone.

“When I saw it was a mom and her calf. I realized if I fell it could have gone real bad,” said Hall. “What I did in hindsight was pretty, in hindsight, not the smartest thing.”

He may be right. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources warns moose are not always friendly.

“Moose are actually one of our most dangerous big game animals. They are pretty protective if they have a calf and they could become territorial if they don’t want you in the area,” said Scott Root with DWR.

In fact, Root says there has been a slight increase in wildlife encounters this winter.

“You know this year we’ve had a lot more snow. We’ve got some moose that are a little bit lower. We’ve had deer that have come down in elevation and we’ll have a mountain lion or two that have come down in elevation,” said Root.

On Friday night, a mountain goat was spotted wandering down a street in a Cottonwood Heights neighborhood near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Over the past few weeks, several people have spotted a trio of mountain lions in Olympus Cove. Root believes it is likely a mother mountain lion with two nearly grown cubs.

“There’s definitely been an increase in some of these sightings along the foothills and residential areas,” said Root.

Typically, wildlife encounters do not prove dangerous. The state has a list of safety advice and updates at https://www.wildawareutah.org/

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