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Mountain lions killed after attacking pets in Utah

Published February 5, 2013 11:14 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Two pets were attacked by mountain lions early Tuesday in Summit County.

One pet was found dead and another injured less than a mile away.

The incidents happened in the 330-person town of Woodland and are still under investigation. Information about what type of pets were attacked was not released Tuesday.

An officer from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources responded to the report and was able to quickly track one of the mountain lions responsible for the animal's death and euthanize it.

Two more mountain lions were discovered by late morning.

In all, three mountainlions were captured and euthanized: one adult female and two young mountain lions.

Phil Douglass, of DWR, estimates there are about six incidents each year in Northern Utah involving mountain lions, also known as cougars.

"It happens especially near people that live in areas close to the winter range where deer come down. That's what mountain lions are following," Douglass said.

In the winter, when the snow gets too deep for deer in the high country, they migrate down to where more food is available, such as sagebrush and bitterbrush, he added.

"Woodland is an area where deer will come down to spend the winter, so there is a possibility that mountain lions will be in that area, too," he said.

Pets are especially vulnerable to mountain lion attacks, particularly pets that are chained up or who tend to escape.

To protect pets from mountain lions, Douglass suggests owners bring them indoors, particularly at night.

"We also manage mountain lions aggressively to keep the numbers in check for people that live in areas where there is a possibility of mountain lions coming down," he said.

Managing the mountain lions includes euthanizing them when there is a clear public threat of life or damage, such as the loss of pets.

The DWR also issues hunting permits throughout the state to keep the mountain lion population in check.

"We are the guardians and trustees of the state's wildlife," Douglas said. "And so conservation of wildlife is one of our purposes. But we have to balance that with public safety as well." —

Cougar safety

O Additional information on cougars and safety can be found at wildawareutah.org > http://bit.ly/Wgdffp