Park City Police keep watch over herd of elk along the driveway amid fears of a collision
A herd of elk spent several days last week in the vicinity of McPolin Farm, drawing the attention of drivers and the Park City Police Department’s concerns about the possibility of a vehicle-animal crash.
Elk were visible in many places until last weekend. The main herd appeared to be keeping a distance from the SR 224, but animals were also seen along the road itself. Drivers have been seen stopping at the side of the national road to take photos or slow down in the traffic lanes to take a look at the herd.
McPolin Farm, a strip of open space owned by City Hall that separates Park City from the development in Snyderville Basin, is frequently the spot for wildlife viewing. It is rare, however, that a herd is seen there or remains there for an extended period.
Police department records indicated that the agency had received reports from the public about the elk or that officers observed the animals themselves on October 14, 15 and 16.
Some of the cases included:
â¢ On Saturday October 16 at 7:14 pm, elk were seen “standing on the road” along SR 224. The animals left the road shortly after the report, police said.
â¢ On October 16 at 6:08 pm, elk were seen in the area of ââthe intersection of SR 224 and Meadows Drive. The person who contacted the police said it looked like the elk would attempt to cross the road that night and asked the police to post signs.
â¢ On October 16 at around 2:47 p.m., the police patrolled the SR 224 on the basis of âseveral wildlife incidentsâ.
â¢ On October 16 at 0731, elk reportedly attempted to cross the road in the area of ââthe intersection of SR 224 and Meadows Drive.
â¢ Friday, October 15 at 10:27 am, elk were seen near McPolin Farm as they attempted to cross SR 224. Police discovered the animals were âat the top of the fieldâ and not near the road, according to the newspaper department.
â¢ On October 15 at 12:43 am, one or more elk were seen crossing the road at the intersection of SR 224 and Meadows Drive. Police said the animal or animals created a traffic hazard.
â¢ On Thursday October 14 at 10:39 pm, an elk watch officer on SR 224 wanted a Utah Highway Patrol soldier to respond to help close at least one southbound lane. Police said an officer watched the elk herd for several hours as the animals crossed the road.
â¢ On October 14 at 8:41 pm, between 30 and 40 elk were seen along SR 224. Police were told it appeared the animals were about to cross the national highway.
It is likely that the first heavy snowfall of the season contributed to the number of sightings. Animals generally move to lower elevations in search of vegetation as a food source when snow arrives at higher elevations.
The section of SR 224 past McPolin Farm has long been known for collisions involving drivers and wildlife. Deer, elk and other wildlife inhabit the mountainous terrain bordering the open space and on land across from SR 224. Animals are vulnerable when moving to one side of the road. the busy SR 224 to the other. Steps have been taken to reduce the danger to people and animals, such as lowering the speed limit on the SR 224, but collisions continue.
Police, meanwhile, also received a report that a driver struck a deer on SR 224 on October 16 at 1:43 am. Police were told the car could not move afterwards. There were also two sightings of moose on October 13. Once was in the late afternoon on Sidewinder Drive while the other, involving two moose, was in the morning near a bus stop near Sidewinder Drive and Buffalo Bill Drive.