Mountain lions prowl through Park City, Bear Hollow |

Mountain lions prowl through Park City, Bear Hollow

The sightings continue, but animals elude police officers

by Jay Hamburger

A mountain lion was seen drinking out of a decorative fountain at a Bear Hollow Drive address on Aug. 10. The animal left and returned several times, the homeowner, Kevin Haas, says. There was also a mountain lion sighting in Park City on Sunday, in the vicinity of Mellow Mountain Road and Sunnyside Drive.

A mountain lion was seen in or just outside a Park City neighborhood on Sunday evening, the Park City Police Department said, indicating there were several sightings that day followed by another report on Monday.

The Police Department in an online posting said one of the Sunday sightings was at 8:40 p.m. in the area of Mellow Mountain Road and Sunnyside Drive. The posting said there were confirmed sightings in that vicinity. The police said officers saw the mountain lion running and created a perimeter. Officers who searched for the mountain lion did not find the animal after it was seen running, the police said.

The Police Department said a reverse 911 emergency alert call was sent to people who live in the neighborhood. The police said there had not been another sighting by 10 a.m. on Monday. State wildlife officers were contacted.

The police occasionally receive reports of mountain lion sightings in or close to Park City neighborhoods. Mountain lion prey such as deer are plentiful in the area. The mountain lions, as well as the prey animals, more commonly stay at higher elevations, though, in the summer.

The Police Department said the report on Monday involved a mountain lion close to homes in Park Meadows, on the eastern side of the neighborhood, at 5:30 p.m. Officers did not find the animal.

A mountain lion was also seen in Bear Hollow the previous Thursday, the homeowner said. Kevin Haas, who lives on Bear Hollow Drive, said the mountain lion was spotted at 7:38 p.m. on Aug. 10. It moved through the front yard. Haas watched the animal from a deck. The mountain lion drank out of a decorative fountain and walked underneath the deck, Haas said.

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The mountain lion did not break eye contact with him for up to 90 seconds, he said, calling the circumstances "surreal." Haas' dog saw the mountain lion and started barking. The mountain lion left, returned 10 minutes later to drink water, left again and then returned twice, Haas said.

State wildlife officers sometimes use dogs to attempt to chase a mountain lion out of populated areas if it is not acting aggressively to people or pets. Another option is tranquilizing a mountain lion and relocating the animal to land well outside of populated areas.

The state Division of Wildlife Resources recommends precautions be taken when a mountain lion is sighted. People should keep tabs on pets and not feed pets outside. If a person comes across a mountain lion, they should stand their ground before backing away. They should not flee from a mountain lion, something that could trigger the animal's natural instincts to chase prey. Should a mountain lion attack, a person should fight back.

The Police Department, meanwhile, received several recent reports of moose sightings. Two moose were seen just before 8 a.m. on Monday on the side of the road in the vicinity of the intersection of S.R. 224 and Holiday Ranch Loop Road. A bull moose was seen at just after 12 p.m. on Saturday on Lowell Avenue close to Park City Mountain Resort while on Aug. 7 a cow moose and a calf were spotted in the road on the 1500 block of Park Avenue at 8:28 p.m.