Cougar Crashes Into Millcreek Home

Feb 9, 2021, 7:41 PM

MILLCREEK, Utah – A Salt Lake man had a close encounter with a mountain lion after the animal broke into the basement of his parents’ home near the mouth of Millcreek Canyon.

“Just kind of a surreal thing. Never seen one in my life,” said Jon Hughes while showing where the cougar got inside the basement. “I’m really glad it wasn’t mad at me.”

The cougar smashed through the glass on the sliding glass door that leads into the backyard. Hughes had come down into the basement on Saturday morning to water the plants when he felt a cool breeze coming from the door.

He walked over and saw the broken glass.

“Didn’t know what to think. Was it raccoons?” said Hughes.

But as he went to cover the hole in the door, he saw the cougar just an arm’s length away.

“It registered, but it was like, ‘Woah,” Hughes said. “Kind of surreal; just not expecting it.”

Fortunately, the cougar had no interest in Hughes and took off back through the broken glass door.

“It had no interest in me at all. It just kind of took off. It didn’t even look back,” said Hughes.

“We believe he’s very fortunate,” said Hughes’ father, J.P. Hughes. “Pretty lucky when you see this amount of damage.”

Wildlife officials believe the cougar may have seen its own reflection in the glass and lunged at it, thinking it was another cat. They said cougars are not known to be aggressive unless they are protecting their young or territory.

“Mountain lion attacks in Utah are very rare,” said Scot Root with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. “Typically, the mountain lion is trying to protect their young.”

Root said it’s also not common to see them in this area.

“It’s still quite unusual to see a mountain lion in the Millcreek area even though it’s on the foothills of the canyon you still won’t see a mountain lion that low that often,” he said.

The Hughes have lived here for 46 years and never have even had one cougar citing.

“It’s one of the most exciting things that has ever happened in this basement,” said Hughes.

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Cougar Crashes Into Millcreek Home