Bear captured after being spotted in Utah County neighborhood

(Courtesy of Mapleton Police Department) A bear was chased up a tree by police officers after being spotted eating out of a trash can on Thursday, June 20, 2019. The bear was tranquilized and returned to its habitat by Utah Department of Natural Resources.

The Utah Division of Natural Resources captured a bear after it was found in a Mapleton neighborhood. The bear was tranquilized and will be released into the backcountry. This was the third bear encounter in Utah County in a single week.

According to the Mapleton Utah Police Department, a resident was walking their dog on Thursday morning near 1700 N. 600 East when they spotted a bear run across a yard toward the border of Mapleton and Springville. Both police and officers from DNR responded to the area. 30 minutes later, another resident called the police saying a bear was eating from his garbage can.

Mapleton officers encountered the bear walking away from the area. It then ran across a field into a church parking lot at 1000 N. 400 East. Officers chased the bear up a tree at the church.

DNR officers tranquilized the bear and loaded it into a vehicle. It will be relocated into its habitat.

Mapleton police said it appreciated the quick and efficient work DNR provided.

“When there is a bear sighting public safety takes priority. We are appreciative of how our residents handled today’s situation. They kept their distance, reported the sightings, and supported professionals with needs,” police Chief John Jackson said in a news release.

This is the third time a bear has been sighted in Utah County in a week. Wildlife officials had to euthanize a black bear after it scratched a young boy who was camping with a group of Boy Scouts in Hobble Creek Canyon. Another bear was seen Wednesday in Springville. The bear was spotted heading up a canyon near the edge of the city.