Three mountain lions attack pets
Ryan Summerlin January 29, 2013
Two pets were attacked by mountain lions early Tuesday morning in Woodland. One pet was found dead and another injured less than a mile away.
The incidents are still under investigation, and information about what type of pets were attacked has not yet been released.
An officer from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) 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 mountain lions were captured and euthanized: one adult female and two young mountain lions.
Douglas estimates there are about six incidents in Northern Utah involving mountain lions each year.
"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 preying 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."
Living in mountain lion country
Courtesy of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Do not feed wildlife. Feeding wildlife attracts animals to your yard that may be prey of mountain lions, thus attracting them to your yard.
Do not feed pets outside. Mountain lions will eat pet food, and the food could attract them to your yard. Keep pets indoors at night as well, as pets make easy prey.
Make your yard deer-proof. If your landscaping is attractive to deer, mountain lions will follow the deer and hang close to your property.
Dense vegetation makes great hiding places for mountain lions. Remove vegetation that could be a hiding place, making your yard less friendly for them.
Outdoor lighting and motion-sensitive lighting is a deterrent for the secretive mountain lion. Lights also make approaching mountain lions visible.
Secure livestock in a barn or shed at night. If that is impossible, a small, well-lit pen close to a structure is the next-best option.
Keep a close eye on your children when they are playing outside. Bring children in before dusk when mountain lions begin to hunt.
For more information about mountain lion safety visit www.wildlife.utah.gov.