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Wild Aware Utah launches new website, holds wildlife safety day at Hogle Zoo

Salt Lake City — Local wildlife education program, Wild Aware Utah, launched a new website Monday and held a wildlife education day at Utah's Hogle Zoo on Thursday, July 9, in an effort to help prevent human and wildlife conflicts.

Wild Aware Utah was launched in 2010 as a way to help provide Utah residents and visitors with wildlife awareness and safety information. The program is a collaborative partnership between Utah's Hogle Zoo, Utah State University Extension and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to provide credible, non-partisan, non-advocacy information on how to minimize conflicts between people and wildlife in the state of Utah.

"As urban development continues to spread into wildlife habitat areas and as outdoor recreation becomes increasingly popular in Utah, there is a greater chance of human/wildlife conflicts," DWR Public Information Officer Faith Heaton Jolley said. "We want people to enjoy Utah's wildlife, but we want them to do so safely and responsibly, which is why this education program is so important."

The new Wild Aware Utah website includes a new layout, logo and branding as well as new, high-resolution images of Utah wildlife. The redesign also includes a new feature that allows people to subscribe to emails that contain occasional wildlife safety tips and other information about local animals. The new website also includes improved responsiveness for mobile devices.

“The website contains invaluable information for Utahns, helping them to be proactive in minimizing conflicts with wildlife whether it be at home, in the community or in the wilderness," Jessica Tegt, engagement and outreach coordinator with the Utah State University Extension's Jack H. Berryman Institute. "It's really a matter of being informed to keep both people and wildlife safe."

In addition to the website launch, "Wild Aware Day" was held at Hogle Zoo from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 9. Visitors saw different temporary displays educating them about wildlife behavior and safety tips as they walked through the zoo.

"Whether it's seeing a moose on a hiking trail, a baby bird on the ground or bats who've made your attic their home, there are safe ways to handle those situations while still protecting wildlife" said Erica Hansen, Hogle Zoo spokesperson. "We are proud of our role in the Wild Aware program. As a conservation organization, our goal is to help encourage the protection of nature and wildlife, and Wild Aware day is a great chance for us to share that message with our community."