Trio of mountain lions killed young deer in backyard near Mount Olympus

Three mountain lions like this one were spotted in Salt Lake City Tuesday morning. File photo: U.S. National Park Service

MOUNT OLYMPUS, Utah, Nov. 5, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Three mountain lions killed a young deer in a backyard near Mount Olympus just half a mile from two schools that were put on a shelter in place protocol because of cougar sightings Tuesday morning.

“Three mountain lions were seen in a backyard near 4300 South and 4000 East about 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 5,” said a news release from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. “Residence is located approximately a half-mile west from the mouth of Neff’s Canyon in the foothills of Mount Olympus. The resident heard a deer being attacked in his yard in the early morning hours before sunrise. His security footage confirmed three mountain lions were in his backyard.”

The mountain lions had attacked and killed a young deer in his backyard, the news release said. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources was notified of the incident at 7:18 a.m.

Unified police were in communication with DWR biologists and were on site looking for the mountain lions, which had since left the yard.

“Because mountain lions often return to the site of a killed deer, their main prey, DWR  officials responded and removed the dead deer,” the news release said. “As a precaution, Oakridge Elementary school was placed on a temporary shelter in place until DWR personnel could remove the dead deer.”

Granite School District tweeted at 8 a.m. there was a precautionary shelter in place at Oakridge Elementary at 4325 Jupiter Drive, as well as Churchill Junior High School at 3450 E. Oakview Drive.

“Police presence is significant to ensure student safety,” the tweet said. “We encourage parents to drive students to school this morning and not permit them to walk.”

An hour later, the district tweeted that protocols have been lifted. “Both schools will continue to have indoor activities and recess throughout the day,” the follow-up tweet said. “We would caution parents that since the cougars have not been located, that they provide adult supervision if their children will be walking home from school.”

As of noon, the mountain lions had not been seen again in the area, the news release said. “Using hounds to track the mountain lions is not an effective option in a residential area with fences, vehicle traffic and other obstacles which restrict the hound’s pursuit,” the news release said. “DWR asks residents to use caution around the area and to report any sightings of the mountain lions to DWR or Unified police. DWR will respond immediately if mountain lions are sighted again and will seek to tranquilize and relocate the mountain lions away from the area.”

Cougar safety tips can be found here.

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