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PROVO — A Utah County family got an unexpected visitor to their backyard in the foothills above Provo last weekend: a mountain lion. While the animal was trapped and later taken away by wildlife resource officers, neighbors are worried about the possibility of more cougars in the area.
Patrick Dunn said he was working on a video project for his new website Saturday when they found the cougar. It had gotten itself trapped in a cage Dunn set up for that very purpose.
"It would tear me apart easily," Dunn said, "and it was irritated at being in a cage."
This wasn't the first close call for Dunn. Just two days earlier, he saw a cougar clawing at some pheasant cages, and he swung a fishing net at it to scare it away.
"The lion just kinda got down on its hunches and looked at me a little bit and walked away," Dunn said.
His neighbors say they've also seen signs of mountain lions in the area over the past few years.
And he doesn't think this will be the end of the problems. "It's a small one, but (it) makes me think there's a mama nearby," he said.
Wildlife resources officers aren't sure if there are more cougars in the area, but they did put this one down. That because there's a cougar "no tolerance" policy in place along the Wasatch Front, and officers say it's impractical to ship them elsewhere.
"It's not easy to move a cat to another area, and not (easy) to even take it to the mountains. Permittees that run the livestock don't want cougars there," said Craig Clyde, with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
Clyde says if you happen to see a cougar, call your local police department or the DWR. It's not the best idea to take matters into your own hands.