Mountain lion shot after charging officer downtown Salt Lake City

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah)- It’s not everyday you see a mountain lion roaming the streets of Salt Lake City. 

Early Tuesday morning (around 3 a.m.) police say an employee of Gold Cross was in an ambulance in the area of 600 East and South Temple when they spotted a mountain lion.

The driver notified officials. They were able to track the cougar to about 150 East and 500 South. Officers set up containment and waited for officials with the Division of Wildlife Resources to respond with a tranquilizer.

Det. Shearer with Salt Lake City Police Department said after about an hour, a DWR official arrived and shot the cougar with the tranquilizer gun but it did not knock the cougar down immediately.

Det. Shearer said the lion charged at an officer. When the lion was within six feet of the officer Shearer said the officer fired his gun and killed the cougar. 

Officials at DWR have some tips to offer if you ever spot a mountain lion:

What to do if you meet an aggressive cougar

Cougars are exciting animals to see in the wild and rarely cause problems for humans. Although unlikely to happen, you should know how to react if you encounter an aggressive cougar:

  • Do not run from a cougar. Running will provoke an instinctive prey response and the cougar may pursue you.
  • Make yourself look intimidating. Make eye contact with the cougar, which cougars consider a threat. Make yourself look big by opening your jacket, raising your arms and waving them. Speak loud and firm to the cougar.
  • If you have children, pick them up. Try to pick children up before they panic and run. When you are picking children up, keep eye contact with the cougar and try not to bend over too far or turn your back to the cougar.
  • If you are attacked, fight back! Protect your head and neck, as the neck is the target for the cougar. If the cougar thinks it is not likely to win its fight with you quickly, it will probably give up and leave.

If you spot a cougar make sure to call your local DWR office. If it’s not during business hours notify police.

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