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Geoffrey McAllister, Deseret News
Susan Briggs of West Jordan touches a mountain lion that was caught in West Jordan while Kathy Moyes, right, looks on, Tuesday. The mountain lion is believed to be an 18-month-old, 100-pound female who was tranquilized and will likely be released into the wild.

WEST JORDAN — A cougar caused some excitement in a neighborhood here this morning.

An 18-month-old female cougar, described by wildlife officials as being "good sized" went on a trip through same backyards near 8600 South and 5000 West.

Just before 6 a.m. a resident let his dog out into the backyard. When he went to see why his dog was barking, he spotted a cougar lying in the grass, said West Jordan police Sgt. Greg Butler. A few moments later, a second neighbor spotted the cougar and also called police.

A couple of hours later, a third sighting was called in to police about three blocks from the initial area, Butler said.

Police did a reverse 911 call to the area. A machine automatically called 600 homes in the area and left a recorded message cautioning residents to keep their pets and children indoors for now.

Officials from the Division of Wildlife Resources were called and found the mountain lion in a backyard near where the original call was made. A tranquilizer was shot at the animal, who then began to hop fences into other backyards before the dart took effect and wildlife officials were able to capture the cougar with ropes.

The cougar was loaded into a truck and will be released into the wilderness at a location to be determined later, Butler said.

Incidents of cougars attacking humans are rare, he said. But if a person should come across one, Butler says that person should not try to run away or crouch down. Rather, people should make themselves seem as big as possible and make noise.

"With mountain lions, they're more afraid of us than we are of them," he said.


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