Park City police respond to report of severed deer leg, prompting concern of a mountain lion
Bloody discovery made near a trail on the edge of Prospector and close to the Rail Trail
Someone reported finding the severed leg of a deer near a trail on the edge of Prospector on Monday morning, prompting the person to contact the Park City Police Department to ask whether a mountain lion may have been involved.
The police received the report at 7:40 a.m. in the area of the Freemason trail, which is located off the Rail Trail. Public police logs indicated the person found the leg close to the trail. It had been “dragged up” and was bloody, the person told the police, according to department logs.
In response to an inquiry from The Park Record, the Police Department said in a statement an officer who responded to the scene was unable to find the leg. One person contacted the agency about the leg, the statement said. There were not additional reports of a severed leg or of a mountain lion, the police said.
The Freemason trail runs between the Rail Trail and a spot close to Aerie Drive, stretching across the lower elevations of a hillside above Deer Valley Drive. The route runs below the Aerie and above sections of the Prospector business district.
The discovery of a severed animal leg in the area of a trail is highly unusual in Park City. The police, though, regularly receive reports of wildlife sightings across the community. There are also regular cases involving full carcasses of animals hit by a vehicle.
Mountain lions inhabit the Park City area, preying on animals like deer. It is not known whether one was responsible for the case in the area of the Freemason trail.
The report on Monday was logged less than a week after a state wildlife officer shot and killed a mountain lion in Park City after it remained in a lower Deer Valley neighborhood for an extended period. The mountain lion also lunged at a police officer.
The state Division of Wildlife Resources decided against tranquilizing and relocating the animal to a remote area based on the aggressiveness of the mountain lion, that it was not afraid of humans and that it had been in a neighborhood for so long.
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