Utah residents concerned after second cougar terrorizing neighborhood; killing pets

EDEN, Utah -- Officers from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources have been dealing with a series of cougar attacks on livestock and house pets near Eden since the end of the summer. Now, they believe they may be dealing with more than one big cat.

“We think what we’ve been dealing with is actually two younger cougars,” said Mark Hadley, a spokesman with DWR.

On Friday the DWR was sent a video of a cougar with someone’s house cat in its mouth. Friday night, four goats were killed. Saturday morning, officers spotted a cougar in the area where the goats were found dead.

“As it started to flee one of the officers was able to get a shot off with a rifle and hit the animal,” said Hadley.

Though it was tracked with hounds, DWR was not able to find the cougar after it had been shot. They believe it likely died in the wilderness but the next morning, they had a new report of two more goats being killed. The remains were examined by an expert with the USDA. Based on his review, DWR determined there is likely a second young cougar between 18 and 24 months old hunting in the area.

“We were going to, unfortunately, have to go ahead and euthanize this animal to keep people safe. We’re concerned this animal has lost its fear of people,” said Hadley.

But people have not lost their fear.

“If it keeps attacking stuff, I don’t want it to be a kid that dies before DNR puts it down,” said Ryan Russel.

Russel lives less than half a mile from the latest attack on the goats. His daughter typically walks home from school, a quarter mile down a quiet country road from the bus stop. Not anymore. Russell and other parents in the area are picking their kids up every day.

“Kids want to come out, they want to jump on the trampoline, they want to swing on the swing set, but with the way this thing is going, you almost feel like your stuck in your house,” said Russell.