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Utah officials: March means more encounters with wildlife

The cougar spotted near Bluffdale Elementary School. (Credit: Division of Wildlife Resources)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Wildlife officials say the approach of spring means Utah residents of cities along the Wasatch Front can expect more close encounters with wild animals.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that there has been a spate of wildlife sightings in the region in the past week, including a cougar spotted across the street from a Bluffdale elementary school.

State Division of Wildlife Resources officials say wildlife sightings as March begins are up from most years, probably because heavy snowfall in the mountains is causing wildlife to seek out green vegetation in lower elevations.

Conservation Outreach Manager Scott Root of the division’s central region says “March is a very important month to keep your eyes open.”