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Several cougar sightings near Farmington trail cause concern

Posted at 7:19 PM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 10:14:35-05

FARMINGTON, Utah — A series of cougar sightings in the Farmington foothills has put homeowners on edge.

“It’s just creepy because they’re quiet and sneaky but they’re big and dangerous,” said Kathie Garlock who lives at the mouth of Farmington Canyon.

Over the weekend, Brian Garlock installed a trail camera after finding large paw prints near his back door.

“We’ve got one camera and it’s caught a cougar every single night since then, so four nights in a row, about the same time,” Brian said.

The photos were taken between 3:30 and 5:30 a.m. on Farmington Creek Trail. Even more alarming, the camera captured trail runners in the same spot twenty minutes later.

The Garlocks alerted the neighbors, but notice people continuing to use the trail before dawn.

“I think you worry about it mistaking [runners] as something to get away from it and it pouncing on it, you know,” Brian said.

In Bountiful, a security camera caught another mountain lion on a porch over the weekend.

Mountain lion sightings increase this time of year as they follow deer migrating down from the higher elevations, according to the Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR).

“They usually wouldn’t stick around for too long, usually they are just trying to travel through kinda following the deer,” DWR spokesperson Faith Heaton Jolley said.

Neighbors are warned to keep their small children and pets inside. However, Jolley said a hiker attack is unlikely.

“Generally it’s no cause for concern,” Jolley said.

Jolley suspects the Farmington cougar may have killed and stashed a deer somewhere near the Farmington trail.

“It would be nice to get it to go away,” Brian said.

DWR urges joggers and hikers not to be alone and to make noise while on the trail as not to startle the cougar.