Mountain lion spotted in Park City | ParkRecord.com

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Mountain lion spotted in Park City

Police want people to be alert after Park Meadows sighting

Someone saw a mountain lion in a heavily populated part of Park Meadows early on Monday evening and tracks suspected to have been left by one of the animals were also seen in the neighborhood, the Park City Police Department said.

Phil Kirk, a police captain, said the sighting occurred at 5:37 p.m. along Crestline Drive close to the intersection with American Saddler Drive. Kirk said the police were told the mountain lion was walking across the street toward American Saddler Drive.

A little bit later, at 7:50 p.m., someone reported finding tracks in the snow off the 2900 block of Estates Drive. Kirk said the tracks are believed to belong to a mountain lion. Estates Drive is located in the vicinity of the earlier sighting.

Kirk said City Hall issued a telephone alert to people who live in Park Meadows at 6:37 p.m. The alert requested people take food and garbage inside and keep pets inside as well. People should watch pets when they are outside, the message says. It asks people to call the Police Department if a mountain lion is seen.

"Be on the alert. Be a little more cautious," Kirk said in an interview.

The report of a mountain lion follows in the weeks after heavy snows struck Park City. The snow has forced wildlife to lower elevations in search for food. The Police Department has received a series of reports about animals. Moose, deer and elk populate the area. They feed on vegetation and have moved to lower elevations to find food sources in places where the snow is not as deep as it is at higher elevations. Kirk said it is likely the mountain lion followed prey animals to the lower elevations.

A state Division of Wildlife Resources official said recently the animals appeared to start migrating down from the higher elevations around New Year's.