LOCAL NEWS

Owners heartbroken after mountain lion kills family cats

Nov 2, 2023, 6:30 PM | Updated: 7:40 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A Cottonwood Heights family says a mountain lion attacked and killed their pet cats Monday.

John Stevens said a mountain lion seen on camera in their neighborhood killed the two cats.

He’s sharing his story so no one else has to experience the pain they’re going through.

“The cats just never came home, and they always come home,” Stevens said while scrolling through pictures of his pets. “Zeke had a very warm personality”.

The photos reminded John of the memories shared with his cats.

“Daisy was 14, and we had got her when my youngest son, now who is 15, was only one, “ he said.

Stevens considered the cats members of the family.

“They did their business outside, but they came inside all the time and were with us, so it was a really healthy balance that we had with them,” he said.

He said they were indoor and outdoor cats.

When they didn’t come home last Monday, the family was worried.

“Once they were both missing for a good day or so, it really started to concern us,” Stevens said.

A neighbor’s camera showed video of a mountain lion lurking near their street.

“This particular mountain lion crept up the creek. We have a creek in our backyard and, let’s just say that the animals had gone through a struggle,” he said.

Stephens said his wife and his son found the remains of their cats. “It was quite a horrific scene.”

He says a piece of their family is gone forever.

“It’s very heartbreaking to see your kids have to suffer through an unforeseen death,“ he said.

Stephens said he reported the attack to the city, animal control, and the Division of Wildlife Resources, which manages Utah’s cougar population.

He said, “They were empathetic. They said, ‘Well, we cannot come up unless you have the animal in sight.’”

He said he doesn’t want anyone else to lose their pet the way his family lost theirs.

“Hopefully, people will think twice before they go to bed, especially if they have cats,” he added

According to Wild Aware Utah, cougars hunt at dawn and dusk, so it’s best to bring in your pets at night. They also recommend installing motion-sensitive lighting to keep them away.

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Owners heartbroken after mountain lion kills family cats