Mountain Lion Killed in Deer Valley Backyard
A mountain lion that was frequenting a yard in the Deer Valley area was euthanized Tuesday night after homeowners called police.
Scott Root is the conservation outreach manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and said the mountain lion had been seen frequently in the same area in the yard of a well-developed neighborhood. The spot was close to where the homeowners’ grandchildren play, and the homeowners tried multiple times to scare off the mountain lion by banging pots and pans, but it kept returning.
Eventually, they called police. Root said that when police arrived, the mountain lion lunged at an officer and then followed him as he backed away.
Police contacted DWR, who then euthanized the lion due to the public safety threat.
"We relocate wildlife all the time," Root said. "This time we knew the way it was acting, we needed to put it down. You know, when they're acting aggressive and they're not afraid of people, and there's lots of pets and kids around, we know that the best thing to do."
Mountain lions, which are also called cougars, live in and around Park City but generally avoid people. Root said when mountain lions begin frequenting areas populated by humans it can be a result of drought, injury, sickness or possibly younger predators being kicked out of their territory by elders.
According to the DWR, you can minimize chances of mountain lions taking up residence too near you by installing motion-detecting exterior lights, eliminating wood and brush piles, and not feeding any wildlife on your property.
People encountering a mountain lion should not run or turn their backs on it, but instead back away slowly while maintaining eye contact with it.
If a mountain lion is approaching or seemingly poised to attack, stand up tall, pick up any small children or pets nearby, and make yourself look bigger by raising your arms or a jacket or backpack above your head. If you are attacked, protect your head and neck and fight back. DWR experts say fighting back aggressively will probably make a mountain lion flee.
For more information, visit www.wildaware.utah.org