PROVO — Three animals were found dead in a residential backyard in Provo Monday, prompting wildlife officials to investigate whether a cougar recently sighted in the area is responsible.
A woman reported that a cougar was in her yard in the area of 2770 N. Foothill Dr. roughly two weeks ago, Provo City officials reported on their Facebook page Monday. A resident in the same area found three animal carcasses — a dog, cat and raccoon — in their yard Monday. The animals were all mauled and partially consumed, Provo officials said.
Provo Animal Control officers and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officials are examining the animals to determine if they were killed by a cougar.
“Reminder — we all share habitat with Utah wildlife,” Provo officials said in the post. “It’s one of the great things about living in Provo. Cougars are secretive animals and nocturnal hunters so sightings are very rare, but if you see one in the city, please call the police or Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.”
DWR officials also offered some safety tips for encountering a cougar:
Running will provoke an instinctive prey response and the cougar may pursue you.
Make eye contact with the cougar because they consider that a threat, wildlife officials said. Make yourself look big by opening your jacket, raising your arms and waving at them. Speak loud and firm to the cougar.
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 a cougar attacks you, you should 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 will probably give up and leave.