DWR tranquilizes cougar spotted in Tooele

Posted at 2:36 PM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 19:58:54-04

UPDATE: As of just after 4 p.m., wildlife officials confirm the cougar was located in a yard and has been struck with a tranquilizer dart. Officials were in the process of relocating the animal Thursday afternoon.

See the video above for exclusive aerial footage of the moment authorities tranquilized the animal.

Previous story continues below:

TOOELE, Utah - Authorities are warning Tooele residents about a mountain lion spotted in the Overlake area.

Tom Becker with the Division of Wildlife Resources said someone spotted the cougar in their backyard  near 2100 North and 50 West in Tooele and called police.

When officers arrived and went to take a look at the cougar, the cat jumped over the fence and they lost track of it. DWR personnel responded to assist with a block-by-block search in a roughly 3-block radius.

Authorities sent out an alert to Tooele residents about the search and urged them to keep pets and children indoors.

“It’s always concerning when you have a cougar in among the residents, it’s always concerning," Becker said.

Searchers were assisted by drones and dog teams.

“High and low we looked for it; no luck,” Becker said.

Becker said due to the hot weather, the cat is likely out of the area or hunkered down somewhere cool: like in a window well, in some brush, under a trailer or perhaps in someone's garage.

“We wait until somebody sees it again, hopefully nobody does and it’s gone," Becker said. "But as it cools down and the sun goes down somebody might be coming home and it might jump, and we’ll see it again and we’ll be back into the chase.”

Wildlife officials will attempt to relocate the cougar should it be found within city limits. The DWR says they never plan to shoot cougars in such situations, but sometimes they are forced to do so due to extenuating circumstances like illness or injury.

Becker said he'd advise people to keep their pets indoors for the next 24 hours.

“Give it a day until we know it’s out of the area," he said.

Becker says if you encounter a cougar you should not turn and run but should instead wave your arms and make noise to seem larger while backing away. He said citizens should avoid cougars and contact the authorities if they see one.

Visit Wild Aware Utah for more tips on Cougars. 

Mountain lion spotted in Tooele