Park City woman sees bobcat prey on deer outside a house |

Park City woman sees bobcat prey on deer outside a house

A bobcat on Jan. 31 was seen preying on a deer outside a Park City house. The Park City Police Department was also told the bobcat was reportedly protecting the carcass.

A bobcat was seen preying on a deer outside a Park City house in late January, a rare local instance of someone watching a predator feed steps from a residence.

The case was reported to the Park City Police Department at 9:53 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31 on Mellow Mountain Road. The police were told the bobcat was "protecting a fresh deer kill," according to department logs.

Wendy Lavitt, who lives on Mellow Mountain Road close to the scene, said the bobcat and the deer carcass were behind a house and close to a trail. Another neighbor saw the bobcat and called Lavitt as well as the Police Department. Lavitt said the bobcat had consumed part of the deer by the time she saw the scene, which she described as gruesome. She watched for a few minutes. The bobcat was guarding the carcass, she said.

State wildlife officers removed the deer carcass the next day, she said. Lavitt said the bobcat has not been seen since. She noted the location is close to the Gambel Oak open space, which is habitat for deer and other wildlife. A mountain lion was seen in the vicinity last summer, she said.

Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain, said there have been no additional reports of the bobcat.

The Park City area provides habitat for a range of animals, including predators like mountain lions and bobcats and prey like deer, elk and moose. The Police Department regularly receives reports of wildlife. It is unusual, though, for the police to field a case involving an animal preying in a neighborhood.

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The Police Department last week received at least two unrelated wildlife reports.

On Jan. 31, an elk herd was seen just off S.R. 224 along the entryway at 7:28 a.m. The animals appeared to be readying to cross the state highway, the police were told. On Monday, Jan. 29 at 5:38 p.m., meanwhile, a herd of deer was seen along S.R. 248. The animals were between a fence and a guardrail, the police were told.