Living with Cougars in Utah

Oct 23, 2020

In recent weeks, reports of cougar sightings have increased across Utah.

Cougars rarely approach groups of people. Do not hike or jog alone in cougar country. Travel in groups and keep everyone together including children and dogs. Keep dogs on leashes.

Make noise while hiking to alert cougars of your presence.

Leave the area if you find a dead animal, especially deer or elk, it could be a cougar kill. The cougar may return and defend its food.

Cougars are rare animals to see in the wild because they avoid human contact.  However, if you encounter a cougar immediately stop what you are doing. Do not run! Running may provoke an instinctive prey response and the cougar may pursue you.

Do not approach the cougar.

Make yourself look intimidating. Stand tall and make eye contact with the cougar. Make yourself look bigger by opening your jacket, raising your arms, and waving them.

Talk firmly in a loud voice, while backing away slowly, and leave the area.

If you have children with you, pick them up before they panic and run. When you are picking up children, keep eye contact with the cougar and try not to bend over too far or turn your back to the cougar.

If attacked, Fight back! Protect your head and neck, as the neck is the target for the cougar.  If you are aggressive enough the cougar will probably think it is not likely to win its fight with you quickly, and it will probably give up and leave.

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