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A Message from Wild Aware Utah

A representative from Wild Aware Utah reached out to us with information related to the recent shooting of the Cougar in Summit Park. If you are interested in the topic, you may want to give it a read:

Hi Park Rag Readers!

I wanted to let everyone know about our collaborative, state-wide wildlife awareness and safety program called Wild Aware Utah.

With some Park City residents worried about the recent sighting and then shooting of a cougar in Summit Park after it killed a family dog, it is more important than ever to get wildlife safety tips out to the community.

The goal of the Wild Aware Utah program is to create awareness throughout Utah that will foster new attitudes towards wildlife and motivate behavior changes in people, resulting in minimizing conflicts with wildlife.

Utah’s Hogle Zoo founded the Wild Aware Utah (WAU) program in 2009 with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR), and Utah State University Cooperative Extension (USUCE). Wild Aware Utah partners and affiliates work together to develop tools to educate individuals and communities about how to live, work, and recreate safely in wildlife habitats in Utah.

The Wild Aware Utah program does not take positions on wildlife issues or policies. The materials are designed to be fact-based, neutral and applicable throughout the state. Our free materials provide simple guidance and direction for Utah communities through these three main messages:

  • Be Aware of the wild: Learn about wildlife.
  • Share the wild: Respect and change behaviors.
  • Care for the wild: Take action, coexist safely and help wildlife stay wild.

WAU program relies on grants and donations to develop materials so that all our resources can be offered free to communities desiring to use them.

Why is such a program needed?
As the human/wildlife interface expands through housing and other developments throughout Utah, rural areas are becoming more urbanized. And with outdoor recreation becoming increasingly popular, there is an increase in the number of citizens concerned about how to be safe in these areas. As Utah continues to grow, and as humans and wildlife compete for space, the number of conflicts will increase. Various non-profit organizations and state agencies have recognized the need for awareness and safety education.

Wild Aware Utah is an Educational Tool:
WAU materials are available for Utah organizations and agencies to distribute and use throughout their communities. Local Utah groups are invited to use Wild Aware Utah materials to train their own volunteers from their community to spread Wild Aware Utah messaging.

WAU website provides wildlife identification tools, coexistence and safety tips as well as wildlife emergency contact information. We have links to our partner’s and affiliates websites, and other organizations throughout Utah. Check it out at:

Wild Aware Utah representatives can provide free presentations to community, school and youth or scout groups. If anyone is interested in hosting a presentation please send us an email at


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