Rural Utah had to close a highway to give a bear a police escort on the other side. The crossing took place on U.S. Route 89 near Ephraim in Utah, 115 miles south of Salt Lake City.
According to the Ephraim City Police Facebook page, the bear was spotted a few days ago at a sidewalk cemetery by a man in the area who was concerned that the animal was heading down the street.
Police services were dispatched to block the two-lane blacktop to allow the bear to cross and go safely and the crossing was captured on video.
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The bear begins to walk cautiously on the asphalt before crossing the double yellow line and making a sprint for the other side. Incredibly, the bear can be seen looking in both directions before crossing the road, something that some people fail to do …
After successfully making it to the other side, the bear jumps over the fence and is then followed by an officer from Utah’s Wildlife Resources Department so that it can reach the nearby mountains safely.
As one commentator noted, a police vehicle devised a tactical reverse strategy to get the bear to the fence rather than to the side of the road.
The team that called for the visit was concerned that the bear might be hit by a vehicle, which is a valid reason for car accidents to be the number one cause of death in the United States.
According to a 2018 issue of the scientific journal Behavioral Ecology, American black bears understand the risk of crossing the road and either prefer to do it at night or follow a quiet road during the day.