UTAH (ABC4) – As of recently, cougar sightings have been on the rise in Utah, and the community has voiced their concerns.
Today, another cougar sighting occurred in the area of Kearns and West Valley City, just off of Bacchus Highway.
ABC4 reached out to Utah’s Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), who confirmed that they are aware of the uptick in cougar sightings, though they note that they need a sighting of the cougar in a location where that will allow for enough time to respond. “In essence, we need to have it holed up in a garage, vegetation, back yard, trees, window well, etc. We are ready to immediately respond if this happens,” said DWR.
If you spot a cougar on a weekend or late at night, the DWR advises that you notify local law enforcement.
According to Wild Aware Utah, it’s necessary to take the following precautions in order to prevent incidents with cougars:
- Do not leave children outside unattended, especially at dawn and dusk.
- As a deterrent, install outside and motion-sensitive lighting around your property.
- Trim vegetation and remove wood piles to reduce hiding places for wildlife.
- Bring pets and livestock inside at night or secure them in a barn or kennel with a top.
- Provide secure shelter for hobby farm animals such as poultry, rabbits and goats.
Additionally, if you encounter a cougar, Wild Aware Utah recommends the following:
- Stop. Never run from a cougar. Do not approach the cougar.
- Maintain eye contact.
- Pick up children and pets or keep them very close.
- Stand up tall.
- Do not crouch or squat.
- Make yourself look bigger by raising and waving your arms or jacket above your head.
- Talk firmly in a loud voice, back away slowly and leave the area.
- Fight back if you are attacked! Protect your head and neck.
- If you are aggressive enough the cougar will probably flee.