Classifieds Business Directory Jobs Real Estate Autos Legal Notices ePubs Subscribe Archives
Today is April 23, 2014
home newssports feature opinion fyi society obits multimedia

Front Page » December 13, 2012 » Carbon County News » As deer migrate to lower elevations, cougars follow
Published 496 days ago

As deer migrate to lower elevations, cougars follow


Print PageEmail PageShareGet Reprints

If you live in an area that has mule deer in or near it, cougars may be in the area too.

John Shivik, mammals coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says deer are the main animal cougars prey on, especially in the winter.

"The number of cougars that come in contact with people and pets jumps a bit in the winter," Shivik says. "As deer migrate to lower elevations in search of food, some cougars follow the deer. Other cougars are wandering in the winter, looking for new territories."

Shivik says seeing one of these elusive cats is extremely rare, and you shouldn't fear them. But because cougars are predators, you should respect them.

You can do several things to lessen the chance that you and a cougar have a conflict. Shivik also provides advice about what to do if you encounter a cougar.

Cougar safety tips are also available in two free brochures:

"Living in Cougar Country" is available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/cougar/pdf/cougar_brochure.pdf.

"Welcome to Cougar Country" is available at www.wildawareutah.org/cougar-country.

If you live in cougar country, such as housing areas that are next to forested mountains, Shivik says doing the following will lessen the chance you come in contact with a cougar:

Do not feed wildlife. Feeding wildlife attracts deer and other animals to your yard that cougars prey on.

Do not feed pets outside. The food you leave out for your pet could attract a cougar and other species to your yard, including raccoons and coyotes. And keep your pets indoors at night. Pets that are left out are easy prey for cougars.

Install outdoor lighting or motion-sensitive lighting. The light will often deter a cougar from coming near your home and might even cause the animal to leave the area. If a cougar does approach your house, the lighting will make it easier to see the animal.

Watch your young children closely. And bring them in before it gets dark.

Deer-proof your yard by landscaping it with plants that deer don't like to eat. If your landscaping is attractive to deer, cougars will follow the deer and stay close to your property. More information-including a list of plants deer don't like to eat-is available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/habitat/deer-browse.php.

The following are three things you should do if you encounter a cougar. "Remember them," Shivik says, "and teach them to your children:"

Do not run. Running from a cougar can provoke a prey response in the animal, and the cougar may pursue you.

Make yourself look intimidating. Make direct eye contact with the cougar. Make yourself look big by opening your jacket, and raising your arms and waving them. Speak at the cougar in a loud, firm voice. Even though the cougar will probably leave first, back away slowly to a safe place until it leaves.

If you have children, pick them up. As you're picking your children up, maintain eye contact with the cougar. Try not to bend over too far or turn your back to the cougar.

If you're hiking or camping, here are two things you can do to avoid encountering a cougar in the first place:

Hike with other people and make noise. Cougars will usually leave a group of people alone.

If you're hiking with pets, keep them on a leash and close to your group. Roaming pets are open to cougar attacks. They could also irritate a cougar that's trying to avoid your group. A dog on a leash is also a good warning system that will let you know if a cougar is nearby.

As Utah's population grows, more and more people are moving into the same places where wildlife live.

"If we're going to live in and right next to places where animals live," Shivik says, "we have to be smart. Having healthy wildlife populations in Utah is important. But to have those populations, we have to learn how to live with wildlife safely and responsibly."

Print PageEmail PageShareGet Reprints


Top of Page


 
Article Photos  
Browse / enlarge – (1 total)
Print photo(s) with article
Get photo reprints on CD
NOTE: To print only the article and included photos, use the print photo(s) with article link above.
Web Poll  
March 15, 2014
Now that the Utah State Legislature is done with their regular session how would you rate their performance this year?
Good
Fair
Poor
Don't know
Don't care

View Results


Carbon County News  
December 13, 2012
Recent Local News
Quick Links
Subscribe via RSS
Related Articles  
Related Stories



Best viewed with Firefox
Get Firefox

© Sun Advocate, 2000-2013. All rights reserved. All material found on this website, unless otherwise specified, is copyright and may not be reproduced without the explicit written permission from the publisher of the Sun Advocate.
Legal Notices & Terms of Use    Privacy Policy    Advertising Info    FAQ    Contact Us
  RSS Feeds    News on Your Site    Staff Information    Submitting Content    About Us