ST. GEORGE – Officers responded to a report of a mountain lion with two cubs sighting Sunday in the area of 670 N. Circle and 400 West in St. George. Sunday’s sighting is one of many in the area and officials are urging residents to be safe and take extra care.
The large mountain lion, weighing approximately 90 pounds, and two cubs, weighing approximately 40 pounds each, have been seen in the area by several different residents over the last several months, the St. George Police Department said in a statement.
“They seem to be traveling up the cut in the cliffs just above this neighborhood to get in and out,” the St. George Police statement said.
Over the last few weeks, police said the mountain lion sightings have been more frequent along with evidence of their presence, including tracks left in dirt and yards.
“One of the area residents was working on his vehicle during the middle of the day,” the statement said, “and turned to see the large cat watching him from the rocks.”
The Department of Wildlife Resources are being alerted to this matter and police are urging the public take extra caution in these areas.
Staying Safe in cougar, or mountain lion, country
Whether you call them mountain lions or cougars, the names meaning one-in-the same, the big cats are exciting animals to see in the wild and rarely cause problems for humans. However, residents should know how to react if they encounter an aggressive cougar and the DWR offers the following tips:
- 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 loudly and firmly 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 is likely to give up and leave.
Whom to call if you meet a cougar
If you encounter a cougar in a residential area, or if you have an encounter with an aggressive cougar, alert the Division of Wildlife Resources.
During regular office hours, call the DWR office closest to you. In St. George, telephone 435-879-8694.
When you call, a DWR employee will notify a conservation officer of your encounter or transfer you directly to law enforcement personnel. If the encounter or sighting occurs after hours or on the weekend, please call the police or 911, and they will contact a conservation officer to handle the situation.
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