Park City police told of mountain lions in neighborhoods
The Park City Police Department has received at least two recent reports of mountain lion sightings in neighborhoods, likely a result of the predators following prey to lower elevations during the February snowstorms.
Mountain lion sightings are rare in Park City, and the cases are notable since they were in populated areas rather than in the vast open spaces around the community.
The Police Department on Feb. 17 received a report of a sighting of a mountain lion in a wooded area off Aspen Springs Drive at a little bit after 6:30 p.m. Public police logs did not provide details. Earlier, in the 8 a.m. hour on Feb. 12, someone reported a mountain lion, described as a large one, on Morning Sky Court. The Police Department was told the animal “wandered” through a backyard. The two locations are in disparate Park City neighborhoods.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources did not immediately receive the reports. Scott Root, a conservation outreach manager for the division, said mountain lions prey on deer. The deer have descended out of the mountains to feed on vegetation, which is easier to reach at the lower elevations at this time of year with the deeper snow at the higher elevations. The mountain lions descend as well to hunt for prey.
“There could very possibly be a mountain lion or two somewhere in that general area,” Root said.
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The Division of Wildlife Resources website provides information about mountain lions and safety tips, including:
• not running from a mountain lion because the animal may see a person running away as prey
• making eye contact, something that a mountain lion sees as a threat
• attempting to intimidate a mountain lion by making yourself look bigger with your jacket open and raising and waving your arms
• speaking in a loud voice
• picking up children
• fighting back if a mountain lion attacks
More information is available on the Division of Wildlife Resources website: wildlife.utah.gov/learn-more/living-with-cougars.html.
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County officials indicated the person was a man over 65 who had been hospitalized with the coronavirus. No other details were provided.