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Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News

Mountain lion shot after attacking 2 family dogs, killing 1

By Amy Joi O'Donoghue | Posted - Jan. 3, 2016 at 5:13 p.m.


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Editor's note: The photo gallery contains images that may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.SUMMIT PARK — Susan Lee Strauss has lived in Summit Park for a decade and is used to seeing moose, deer, raccoons and porcupines.

She'd never seen a mountain lion, however, until one crept into her back yard in the middle of the night and went after her two dogs.

By Sunday morning, when they finally were able to track down her Australian shepherd, Maizy, the beloved pet was dead, being guarded by the big cat as its prey.

Her lab, Casper, was luckier, having survived the encounter with puncture wounds and rattled nerves.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources responded to the neighborhood Sunday morning, tracked the animal to a secluded place under a home's deck and shot and killed it.

"I can't fault the mountain lion," she said. "This is his area, but I am glad they killed it."

Strauss said wildlife officers told her the cat had to be killed because it had gone after domesticated animals.

Strauss said she last saw Maizy when she let her out at 2 a.m. Sunday. That morning when they awakened, they discovered the wounds on Casper.

Eventually, they were able to track the cat to another home, where it was hiding under a detached deck area.

"We found a trail of blood and we saw the cat under this overhang. He was looking at us and we were looking at him. He stood up and started to growl. We never got too close."

Maizy had a broken neck.

Casper will survive his wounds, but Strauss said the dog is fairly traumatized.

"He's fearless, not afraid of anything, but he's pretty shaken."

The Wild Aware Utah organization provides tips on staying safe and minimizing risks due to wildlife encounters.

A collaborative effort founded by Hogle Zoo, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah State University, the organization aims to educate people and foster awareness about how to reduce conflict with wildlife.

It provides specific tips on wildlife in Utah, including mountain lions.

Contributing: Sandra Yi

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Amy Joi O'Donoghue

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