A Cedar Fort, UT man said he felt compelled to draw his weapon and shoot a 150-pound mountain lion that was attacking his neighbor’s 10-year-old black lab Thursday night.
“I’ve lived here all my life and that was the first cougar I’ve ever seen in town,” said witness Ken Strickland.
“He had that poor old dog down and pretty well chewed up,” Strickland said. “And he was not scared of nothing; I mean, usually you run into a mountain lion he is going to take off, that one was not going to give up that dog. So I went over to my nephew’s over here because I knew he had a gun right close to the door.”
Strickland’s nephew fired three shots at the cougar. Severely injured, the cat limped down the street into a neighbor’s yard, where it died. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said mountain lions venturing into neighborhoods is uncommon, but this cat was old and in poor health.
“I’m sure because of the poor health of this cougar it probably decided to go after something a little bit easier than deer,” said Scott Root with the Utah DWR.
“If he gets down here like around those kids right there, he could take one of them in a heartbeat,” Strickland said.
“There was a cougar that was in somebody’s yard, and their dog was missing and their owners found the tracks and some blood, so this cougar may have even taken two dogs,” Root said.
Unfortunately, the neighbor’s dog did not survive the vicious attack, however the man who killed the mountain lion in an attempt to safe the family friend won’t face any criminal charges. Utah DWR said because the man shot the animal in an attempt to protect a pet, the shooting was justified.