LOCAL NEWS

DNR advises on mountain lion encounters

May 21, 2024, 3:52 PM | Updated: 4:41 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The DNR issued a warning to all Utah residents on what to do if you encounter a mountain lion, as their population has been growing steadily over the last few years.

The DNR said in a news release Tuesday that mountain lions, sometimes referred to as cougars, can be found throughout Utah but are usually sighted in the Foothill and canyon areas. They can sometimes be spotted in the valleys.

Mountain lions primarily prey on deer, so they can be found wherever they are.

Main sighting times are usually around dawn or dusk, when they are most likely to be hunting.

Because sightings usually occur around hunting times, there a few tips listed by the DNR of how to stay safe if you come across one.

Mountain lion captured in Logan after it ran through residents’ yards

Preventing conflicts

  • Do not hike or jog alone.
  • Maintain awareness in cougar country while hiking or jogging and avoid using headphones that block out your surroundings.
  • Travel in groups and keep everyone together, including children and dogs.
  • Make noise while hiking to alert cougars of your presence.
  • Leave the area if you find a dead animal, especially deer or elk, since it could be a cougar kill.
  • If you live in an area near deer habitat, do not leave children outside unattended, especially at dawn and dusk.
  • As a deterrent, install outside and motion-sensitive lighting around your property.
  • Trim vegetation and remove wood piles to reduce hiding places for wildlife.
  • Bring pets and livestock inside at night or secure them in a barn or kennel with a top.

If you encounter a mountain lion

  • Never run from a cougar, since that could trigger the cougar’s instincts to chase.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Pick up children and pets or keep them very close.
  • Stand up tall.
  • Do not crouch or squat.
  • Make yourself look bigger by raising and waving your arms or jacket above your head.
  • Talk firmly in a loud voice, back away slowly and leave the area.
  • Fight back if you are attacked! Protect your head and neck.
  • If you are aggressive enough, the cougar will probably flee

“Typically, a cougar that is trying to prey on something will sneak up and ambush them,” Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Game Mammals Coordinator Darren DeBloois said. “When a cougar lunges or bluffs a charge at someone, they are typically just trying to drive them out of the area because they have kittens or a kill nearby that they are trying to protect.”

When to report a sighting

  • It has killed something in a neighborhood or yard.
  • It exhibits aggressive behavior.
  • It appears several times on your security cameras

The news release states that if footage of a mountain lion is captured on security cameras one time or seen from a distance, there is no need to report it. These types of sightings usually occur when the animal is passing through the area.

 

 

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DNR advises on mountain lion encounters