Mark Price was relaxing in his hot tub at his home on 2225 Maple Avenue last Thursday night when he heard dogs barking. Two Bluetick Coonhound hunting dogs, to be exact.
An adult cougar and a cub were in a tree in his backyard when a conservation officer and dog handler came to capture the wild animals between 7 and 8 p.m.
“I got out and the next thing I know, I saw the conservation officer with his rifle. I was like what the hell is going on?”
Price said there had been numerous cougar sightings in the area recently.
“I spoke to one lady, she saw cougars walk right by someone’s residence.”
Conservation officers had been tracking them for a while now, finally locating them behind his house after the large cats took down a deer. The dogs cornered the cougars in the tree, and he said CO Rick DeKelver knocked out both cougars with a single tranquilizer dart each.
“The conservation officer had an awesome shot. They really handle them with care,” said Price.
He estimated the cub to be about 40 pounds, and the mom over 100 pounds which DeKelver put in his truck. Price applauded the officer saying he was very professional in securing the area, alerting people of the danger and making sure no one got hurt. The cougars are to be relocated to Jordan River.
“A lot of people were standing around watching, taking pictures,” said Price. “It was awesome, the first time in my life I saw (cougars).”
Cougars are predators being most active at dawn and dusk, although they may be seen at any time. If you meet a cougar, do not run or turn your back.Stay calm, pick up small children, back away slowly making yourself look as big as possible and give the animal an avenue of escape.