Mountain lion gives a scare in Blanding
by Beau Barton
Feb 09, 2011 | 5742 views | 0 0 comments | 177 177 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“I walked that road for two years, now I won’t go near it,” said Timi Butt, reflecting on the events of January 24. That afternoon, along the road leading west of Blanding toward Westwater, a mountain lion was spotted headed toward Blanding.

At the same time, Timi was walking on the road, unaware of the potential danger trailing behind her. “I was walking with my headphones in and suddenly heard what I thought was a car horn,” she said. The honking came from a truck driven by Anderson Chee, who saw the small lion as it darted from the road into some bushes.

After warning Timi and escorting her back to town, Chee called the Sheriff’s Office, who put them in touch with Justin Shirley, of the Division of Wildlife Resources.

Shirley arrived a short time later and confirmed that a mountain lion had been stalking the area. “Lions are predatory animals and when they’re alone and starving, their behavior can be impossible to predict,” said Shirley.

The lion’s tracks led to an abandoned trailer house. “We always try to tranquilize and capture an animal, if possible,” Shirley said. But after witnessing the animal’s behavior and getting confirmation from his supervisor, Shirley decided that precautions needed to be taken. “The lion was exhibiting strange behavior that posed a risk to public safety,” he said.

The mountain lion weighed around 30 pounds and was approximately eight months old, according to Shirley. A young cat such as this is usually accompanied by a larger adult lion, but Shirley said no evidence of another animal was found. The young lion was most likely abandoned, which would explain its strange behavior.

Timi comes away from that day with a strong motto she is willing to share… “Watch where you’re walking!”
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