Cougar ‘rescued’ from tree by West Valley City firefighters and DWR crews

Feb 1, 2024, 9:47 PM | Updated: Feb 2, 2024, 4:04 pm

A cougar in a West Valley City tree....

A cougar in a West Valley City tree. (The West Valley City Fire Department)

(The West Valley City Fire Department)

WEST VALLEY CITY — A mountain lion had to be tranquilized and removed from a tree after a West Valley City resident noticed it Thursday evening.

According to the West Valley City Fire Department, a resident, Damon, said he noticed something odd in a tree while talking on the phone near 4000 S. 5200 West.

“I was talking on the phone and I was like, ‘That doesn’t look right.'” Damon told firefighters. “And I kept staring at it while I was talking and kind of seeing the tail move, I am like, ‘That’s a freaking mountain lion.'”

A cougar in a West Valley City tree

The cougar in a West Valley City tree. (West Valley City Fire Department)

Damon said he brought his dad and brother outside to make sure he wasn’t imagining the big kitty in the tree, but they confirmed it was a cougar and called the authorities.

Scott Root with DWR said it’s not very common to see a mountain lion in this particular area but that really any area with foothills- it’s possible to see one. The Salt Lake Valley is surrounded by foothills so mountain lion and other wildlife sightings aren’t too rare.

West Valley City firefighters and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources responded to Damon’s call to safely get the mountain lion down.

The West Valley City Fire Department getting the cougar down from the tree.

West Valley firefighters getting the cougar down from the tree. (West Valley City Fire Department)

According to West Valley City fire, DWR crews tranquilized the cougar while it was in the tree, but instead of trying to get down on its own, the cougar went to sleep in the tree.

“WVC fire crews hauled the extra large cat safely back down to the ground so that DWR can return the visitor back where it belongs — safely out of West Valley City!” the fire department’s Facebook post stated.

Root said it was a 2-year-old male mountain lion – which is pretty much full size.

DWR was not sure how or why it was hanging out in West Valley, but they believe it came from the Oquirrh Mountains – Root said as the deer come down into the valley the mountain lions follow.

“Now, seeing it down here, that thing is big,” Damon said. “I didn’t expect to see something that big down here. It’s pretty crazy.”

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Cougar ‘rescued’ from tree by West Valley City firefighters and DWR crews