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Schools return to normal routine after cougar sighting in Riverton area

Posted at 9:10 AM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 13:09:00-05

UPDATE: The Division of Wildlife Resources says it appears the cougar has left the area, but they ask residents to remain vigilant and report any sightings by calling 800-662-3337.

Jordan School District confirms the restrictions at both schools have been lifted and classes are proceeding as normal.

Previous story continues below:

RIVERTON, Utah — Two elementary schools in Riverton are sheltering in place after a cougar sighting in the area Friday morning.

Sandy Riesgraf, a spokeswoman for Jordan School District, said the cougar was spotted near Foothills Elementary in Riverton.

The school is located at 13717 Shaggy Peak Drive. Fox 13 News first heard report of the sighting around 8:40 a.m.

Riesgraf said police have responded and students at Foothills are sheltering in place until the animal is captured. Police later stated Blackridge Elementary is also sheltering in place.

Sheltering in place means the students are not allowed outside of the building.

Herriman Police said they are coordinating with the school district and Unified Police in the response, and they have also notified the Division of Wildlife Resources—which has personnel on the way.

In the meantime they ask the public to remain vigilant.

Fox 13 News will update this story as more details emerge.

Wild Aware Utah provides tips for avoiding encounters with potentially dangerous wildlife as well as advice for how to respond should you encounter a wild animal. 

See below for their tips regarding encounters with mountain lions, which are also called cougars:

  • Stop. Never run from a cougar. Do not approach the cougar.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Pick up children and pets or keep them very close.
  • Stand up tall.
  • Do not crouch or squat.
  • Make yourself look bigger by raising and waving your arms or jacket above your head.
  • Talk firmly in a loud voice, back away slowly and leave the area.
  • Fight back if you are attacked! Protect your head and neck.
  • If you are aggressive enough the cougar will probably flee.