Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published June 30, 2014 at 5:46 AM | Page modified June 30, 2014 at 7:19 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Mountain lion scares shoppers in Utah

Utah authorities captured a mountain lion Friday that startled people but didn't hurt anybody at a shopping center in a Salt Lake City suburb.


Associated Press

advertising

SANDY, Utah —

Utah authorities captured a mountain lion Friday that startled people but didn't hurt anybody at a shopping center in a Salt Lake City suburb.

The mountain lion was spotted walking across a street and into Jordan Commons in Sandy, Utah, just before 8 a.m., Sandy police Sgt. Dean Carriger said.

Officers found the female cat hunkered down at the entrance of a steakhouse. Though it was early, there were dozens of people coming and going, many of whom work at a nearby office building, Carriger said.

Some were taking pictures and videos of the mountain lion while others were unaware the cat was there, he said.

"I was scared," Leesha Francis told KUTV (http://bit.ly/1veQFkF) She works at an office tower and saw the cat along with co-worker Maddie Gilbert who said, "It was a little bit shocking."

When the cat came running out, an officer fired one shot but missed, Carriger said.

"He was concerned there was imminent danger to the public," Carriger said.

The mountain lion ran away, jumped over a fence and hid in the brush near a commuter train line. Two wildlife officers arrived and cornered the cat with the help of the fences around the train tracks, hitting it with a tranquilizer gun about 1 ½ hours after it was first spotted, Carriger said.

The cat is about 2 years old and weighs about 100 pounds, said Scott Root, spokesman for Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. It was still under the effects of the tranquilizer Friday afternoon. When it awakes, officials plan to release her into the wild in central Utah, Root said.

The cat wasn't acting aggressively and doesn't have a history of being caught, so she'll be given a "second chance," Root said.

Mountain lion sightings are fairly common in Sandy, a suburb south of Salt Lake City with a population of about 90,000. But most cats are seen on the eastern side of the city that nestles up against the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, Carriger said. This shopping center, Jordan Commons, is on the western side of the city about 5 miles west of the mountains. It is across the street from Rio Tinto Stadium, home to Real Salt Lake, an MLS soccer team.

Authorities think the mountain lion followed one of the gullies or ravines that run east-west in Sandy and didn't realize how far it had gone.

"It's a little unusual to have one right here in the middle of Sandy in such a populated area," Root said.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

The Seattle Times photographs

Seattle space needle and mountains

Purchase The Seattle Times images


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►