Last week a grizzly bear seriously injured a man in Wyoming, bringing to light the idea that there may be big, bad bears in Utah's wilderness country.

The 35-year old man was able to defend himself with a firearm, eventually mortally wounding the animal during the attempted mauling.

The man is reportedly going to survive the attack. The bear, not so much, as it succumbed to the gunshot wounds and died 100 yards or so from the attack.

With Wyoming next door to Utah, a lot of Utahns have expressed concern that this kind of attack could happen in the Beehive State.

"We've got bears here in Utah, maybe even grizzlies. Is this going to happen here?" -- asked one commenter on a local media website.

The short answer is this: no.

A grizzly bear has not been sighted in Utah for more than 100 years, although that's a good story.

A bear, nicknamed "Old Ephraim," eluded farmers and ranchers in Northern Utah for more than 10 years, snacking on the ranchers sheep from time-to-time.

Roadside America picks it up from here: "Old Ephraim was the last grizzly bear in Utah, and the curse of local sheepherders. After 10 years of tracking, Frank Clark finally blew the bear's brains out on August 22, 1923. At the time of his death, Old Ephraim stood 10 feet tall and weighed 1100 pounds. His skull was sent to The Smithsonian, where it has been preserved. The rest of Ephraim is buried six miles up Temple Fork Road, high in the Wasatch Mountains north of Logan. A rock cairn grave, built by the Boy Scouts, marks the site."

Now 101 years later, no one has seen a grizzly in the Beehive State since.

Apparently grizzlies disappeared from Utah because of a lack of habitat and the growing human population.

A group calling itself the High Uintas Preservation Council wants to bring grizzly bears back, saying that the caution prompted by occasional grizzly attacks is a vital part of the wilderness experience.

Seems like a great idea (not!).

Utah right now only has black bears, and they certainly can be deadly, but attacks are rare and even more rarely result in fatalities.

And the government has said reintroducing grizzlies back into Utah is not in the plans.

So no, Utahns don't need to worry about grizzlies anytime soon.

But don't tell that to the people marketing bear spray.

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Check Out These Scary Animal Attacks In Utah

Aggressive dog shows dangerous teeth. German sheperd attack head detail.
Milan Krasula

The story from Northern Utah is devastating.

Last week, 63-year-old Sandra Dee Miller was in her own backyard in Taylorsville when she was attacked by two adult and five puppy Pitbulls.

When police arrived, they had to use pepper spray to get the dogs away from the woman. Even then, one of the dogs came at the first responders and was shot dead.

Miller suffered severe injuries to her face, neck, legs and hands and was rushed to the hospital, where she was cared for, with doctors ultimately opting to amputate one of her legs in an effort to save her life.

Unfortunately, the mother and grandma succumbed to her injuries Monday, passing away at the hospital.

The other six dogs involved in the attack, all owned by the victim's son, have been euthanized.

It is a tragic story all around, but not the first time animals have attacked humans in the Beehive State. Here are some other incidents:

  • Last week, Clinton -- Three dogs (also Pitbulls) attacked two adults, causing non-life-threatening injuries. One of the adults shot and killed one of the dogs, while a second dog returned to its owner. The third dog is still on the loose.
  • October of this year, Draper -- Coyote snatches pet Chihuahua out of lady's front yard, despite her yelling and screaming. The coyote snarled at the woman, then took off with the pet. The dog, 'Koda' was never found.
  • July 8, near Provo -- This one was a cougar attack. Although the mountain lion never actually touched Kyle Burgess, this one is compelling because Burgess had the whole attack on video.
  • April 28, Spanish Fork Canyon -- A 70-year-old man was attacked by a mountain lion near a parking area in the canyon, suffering lacerations to his head and face, sending him to the hospital. DWR officials warn that there at least 1,500 mountain lions in the state of Utah.
  • October, 2022, Sandy -- A 5-year-old boy had to have nearly 3,000 stitches to repair wounds to his face and hands after being mauled by a husky. The boy had been riding his bicycle out in front of his home when the neighbor's dog attacked.
  • Sept. 26, 2022, Mill Creek Canyon -- Another mountain lion attack, this one sending two female joggers to the hospital.
  • Aug. 2019, Hobble Creek Canyon --  A young black bear bit a 13-year-old boy while he was camping at the Dewey Bridge Campground near Moab. The boy was sleeping outside in a sleeping bag when the bear bit his head. The bear was scared off when the boy woke up, but he was left with injuries on his cheek and ear.
  • March, 2019, Layton -- A 4-year-old boy lost his hand and arm after sticking them through a neighbor's fence. A husky on the other side of the fence committed the attack..
  • June 2007, American Fork Canyon -- A boy was killed when a black bear ripped him from a tent he was sharing with his family. Officials searched for hours before finding the boy’s body hundreds of yards from the campsite. The black bear later was shot and killed.

This is just a sampling of a few frightening encounters. There have been many more cases of animals attacking in Utah.

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Heart Of The Matter: What Makes Utahns Tick

surprise entrepreneur holding his eyeglasses grey background

Utahns have a lot of motivators, but in trying to decode what makes us tick -- what gets our motors running -- this is what we came up with on the Andy Griffin Show.

Here are the main motivators that we came up with:

Stack of 00 bills
Tomislav Forgo

1. Money -- This one is deceptive because money seeps into almost everything we do. Want to make the boss happy? To what end -- to get a promotion or raise. Want to make your spouse happy? "Hey dear, I got this for half price." Want to make your kids happy. Hand them 20 bucks. Money might be the root of all evil, as someone once famously said, but is also the root of (almost) all motivation.


2. Inner drive -- Money can affect this one, but it's so much more than that. Inner drive is the idea, as Jack said, that "I can always be better, learn more." Inner drive can actually have many motivating factors behind it, but there is something special about someone who just wants to get better and learn more.

Adorable Toddler Boy Playing Basketball Barefoot Over White
Jaimie Duplass

3. Praise -- This is the early motivator for children. Every kid wants to hear, "I'm proud of you," or "Way to go." The thing is, some of us never really outgrow this motivator. Actually most of us don't. My Mom passed away a couple of years ago, and I'd give anything to hear her say she was proud of me one more time. Praise from a boss, spouse or even our kids and grandkids can go a long toward getting us to try harder or do better.

Single lion looking regal standing proudly on a small hill

4. Pride -- Closely tied into the "Praise" motivation, Pride has to do with wanting to do something great for the sake of doing something great. Of course money and inner drive also factor in here, but Pride in a job well done can be a huge factor in and of itself. Most real artists don't create something to receive praise or sell the piece of art for a lot of money. Rather, they do it because there is something great inside of them that they want to create on the outside. To them, it doesn't much matter what the rest of the world thinks.

Standing out from the crowd
Androsov Konstantin

5. To be the best -- This motivation often comes after several of the others, sometimes before. But make no mistake, it is a strong motivator. I started off in radio wanting to be the best. I knew I would never be the best football player, or the best post player in basketball, or the best racquetballer. I tried, got pretty good at those, but came to the realization that I was never going to reach the top or even come close. But broadcasting and writing came naturally to me. I knew if I developed those talents, I had the opportunity to be the best. If not in the world, at least in my world. Of course, I now know that "the best" is mostly a fictitious, or more accurately, an objective achievement. But that didn't stop me from being motivated to try to be the best.

Ultimately, the real litmus test in motivation is this (according to Jack Lancaster):

"I always do this experiment in my head. If I had $30 million in the bank, what would I do with my time? When you really sit down and meditate on that ... it's a great test of what you really want. What would you do?"

Senior man flyfishing in river
Stephen Schauer

Jack's answer was fairly simple. "I'd probably do a lot more fishing."

Mine was not as simple. I don't think I would change much. I'm not really a golfer. I don't fish. I love my job. I love spending time with my beloved wife. I love broadcasting games on the radio.

Nope, probably wouldn't change much.

But what a great question. What does motivate you?

If money were no object, what would you spend most of your time on?

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