Green River Star -

By David Martin
Editor 

Mountain lion spotted in city

Likelihood of being attacked low

 


An employee at the Shopko Hometown store employee got a shock Sunday morning when she saw a mountain lion between the store and the Grace Tabernacle Church.

The Green River Police Department responded to the call, but were unable to locate the animal, however possible mountain lion tracks were found around Stratton Myers Park.

Det. Cpl. Karl Bode of the GRPD said the sighting occurred about 6 a.m. He said the department will respond to such calls with police officers as opposed to animal control due to the type of animal involved.

He also said the department will contact the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in those instances.

“The Game and Fish are much better equipped for those situations,” Bode said.

While he says it isn’t uncommon to see young mountain lions wandering through Green River, Green River Wildlife Supervisor Steve DeCecco said there isn’t need for alarm.

“Just be aware and give wildlife space,” DeCecco said in a press release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD).

According to the WGFD, many of the mountain lions seen in residential areas are young lions looking for their own territory or have been recently detached from their mothers.

The likelihood of being attacked by a mountain lion is low, however the WGFD reminds residents there are simple rules to follow which can decrease the likelihood of an attack.

If residents do see a mountain lion, they are encouraged not to approach it and call either the GRPD or the WGFD’s Green River Office. The police department can be reached at 872-0555 while the WGFD office phone number is 875-3223. Residents are also encouraged to stay calm if they do encounter a mountain lion as well.

Mountain lions instinctively chase animals that run from them. If a person is with small children at the time of the sighting, residents should pick up the child so they don’t run and slowly back away.

The WGFD also suggests residents attempt to make themselves look bigger by raising their arms or opening their jackets. They should also throw rocks and sticks at the mountain lion and never turn their backs to the lion. The goal is to convince the mountain lion the person is not prey and can be dangerous to the lion.

If attacked by a mountain lion, people can fight back with sticks and rocks or by punching and kicking the animal.

Also, residents can dissuade a mountain lion from walking onto their property by pulling pet dishes inside at night and using outdoor lighting during the evening and early morning hours.

 

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