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'I feel lucky': Hyde Park kids and their dog fend off cougar cub


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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

HYDE PARK — A brother and sister in Cache Valley had a close call with a cougar cub that they mistook for a cat.

Sixteen-year-old Lucy and 9-year-old Jackson Britsch were walking with their dog Harley on what should have been a routine stroll.

"Jackson pointed out he saw a cat and it was sort of meowing at us and I thought it was friendly," Lucy Britsch explained.

It happened near 200 East and 200 North in Hyde Park Friday.

She said, "I went to go approach it. I gave Harley to Jackson and then it went straight past me and made a B-line for Harley and started attacking her."

"It was also the size of Harley, just a little skinnier, and at that point, it was like, 'Oh shoot. It's not a cat,'" the 16-year-old explained.

Jackson said, "I was feeling really scared and I wanted to just run forward and get away from it."

Then the reality started to sink in. "We had a mountain lion following us," she said. "It was intense and I was scared for my dog. I was scared for my little brother and I didn't know what to do."

The siblings realized they and their dog were OK.

Lucy Britsch points out minor scratches on her dog Harley Tuesday after they encountered a mountain lion in Hyde Park Friday.
Lucy Britsch points out minor scratches on her dog Harley Tuesday after they encountered a mountain lion in Hyde Park Friday. (Photo: Mike Anderson, KSL-TV)

Their father, James Britsch, said, "I'm very grateful that the dog was there and helped protect the kids."

Harley did have some minor scratches.

James Britsch said it wasn't until they found a video on YouTube that the kids recognized the sounds they heard just blocks away.

"And Lucy immediately said, 'Yeah, that's it! Yeah, it was a mountain lion, that's what it was,'" her dad said.

Lucy Britsch talks to KSL Tuesday. She says she and her brother were walking with their dog Harley Friday when they were approached by a mountain lion.
Lucy Britsch talks to KSL Tuesday. She says she and her brother were walking with their dog Harley Friday when they were approached by a mountain lion. (Photo: Mike Anderson, KSL-TV)

According to the Division of Wildlife Resources, if you come face to face with a cougar you should avoid running from the animal, maintain eye contact with the animal, and make yourself look bigger by waving your arms while talking in a loud voice.

It worked for the Britsch kids. The cub backed off.

Lucy said, "I feel lucky."

The Division of Wildlife Resources wants to hear about cougar sightings especially if they kill something in your neighborhood, display aggressive behavior, or if you spot it several times on security cameras.

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Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson often doubles as his own photographer, shooting and editing most of his stories. He came to KSL in April 2011 after working for several years at various broadcast news outlets.

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