Mountain lion captured in Sandy has died, officials say

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A mountain lion that had to be tranquilized in Sandy on Friday has died.

The cougar was spotted outside a restaurant at the Jordan Commons. Posing a possible threat to people, police fired shots at the cat but missed. The cougar managed to run up the street, hopped a fence and hunkered down on the Trax rail line, where it was eventually tranquilized.

“We were planning to release her but unfortunately she just didn’t survive, occasionally that happens with tranquilizers,” said Scott Root, of the Division of Wildlife Resources. They are also conducting tests to see if any other factors may have contributed to the mountain lion’s death.

This was the third mountain lion spotted in the Salt Lake City area in the past three months.

“We are moving into their neighborhood and as their habitats get smaller they are obviously going to encroach on ours,” said Mark Natt of Wild Aware Utah, an organization that promotes wildlife awareness and safety.

Natt said mountain lions stumbling into residential areas is not common but it seems to be happening a lot more often.
“Consider it extremely rare if you see one, we know biologists who have been in the field for 20 years and have never actually seen a live cougar,” said Natt
The cougar in Sandy was listed as a two–years-old, 100 pound female. It was about five miles from the foot of the Wasatch mountains.
“Typically a younger cat is going to be pushed out by mom and they really don’t know the territory or established a safe territory, so they are just wandering, they are looking for one,” said Natt. “The last thing they want to do is assimilate with us, man equals bad, they want to avoid us at all cost.”

 

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