EDEN, Utah — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources shot and mortally wounded a cougar Saturday who was believed to be responsible for a string of pet and livestock attacks.
According to Nordic Valley area residents, the cougar had been injuring and killing their pets and livestock over the last three months — but the animal was not caught in the act until a resident filmed the animal in their backyard Thursday with a house cat dangling from its mouth.
Mark Hadley with the Division of Wildlife Resources said that euthanizing an animal is typically a last resort for officials, but action had to be taken Saturday morning after the cougar allegedly killed two resident's goats in broad daylight.
“We made the decision before the officers even arrived up there that we were going to go ahead and euthanize this creature,” said Hadley. “It’s been sighted a lot during the day which is kind of unusual; cougars are usually out more so at nighttime. This animal had been spotted during the day in the subdivision and it’s been killing livestock and pets.”
When officers arrived in the area Saturday, they were able to locate the cougar near where the goats had been killed, Hadley said. He said the cougar tried to run and one of the officers shot it but was unable to kill it.
DWR sent a houndsmen to the area, who was able to track the animal for 500 to 1,000 yards before the chase was called off. Hadley said the cougar was far enough away from the community and was most likely mortally wounded after being shot.
DWR encourages people to report any cougar sightings or attacks immediately so they can take appropriate action.