A mountain lion that was caught and tranquilized on Friday after it wandered into a parking lot at Jordan Commons Mall in Sandy died Saturday, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officials said.
The animal died while under the effect of the tranquilizer, according to Scott Root, a DWR outreach manager. He said division biologists will perform an analysis to determine if there were any health factors that may have contributed to the death of the big cat.
"Wildlife deaths can occasionally occur during tranquilization," Root said. "The fact that this cougar was in a highly populated area suggests that something may not have been normal with this animal."
After receiving a 911 call about the female cougar at 7:50 a.m. Friday, Sandy police and wildlife officers arrived to see the animal cross 9400 South and amble into the mall area, where it bedded down briefly near a Ruby River Steakhouse.
The animal ran east of the mall and onto TRAX light-rail lines before it bedded down once more, this time under some bushes at about 9:30 a.m. near 9100 South and 150 East.
About 15 minutes later, DWR tranquilized the cougar and officers used a makeshift blanket stretcher to remove the feline. Determining that the cougar was not exhibiting aggressive behavior, DWR had planned to release her back into the wild.
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