The Tooele City Police Department is reminding residents to be on the alert after two separate mountain lion sightings in Tooele City limits over the weekend.
The first cougar sighting was on Saturday just after midnight in the area of Tahoe and Ontario streets, according to Tooele City Police Sgt. Jeremy Hansen. Officers responded to the location and searched, but did not find the animal.
The second sighting came on Sunday at around 7:40 p.m. near Sterling Elementary School, Hansen said. The reporting party observed the cougar for a brief period of time and it was during daylight hours.
Officers responded to the scene and searched the nearby field and ravine, where they found and disturbed other wildlife, but no mountain lion was observed.
The cougar sightings were in back-to-back days but with officers unable to locate the animals, the department is unsure if the sightings were of the same mountain lion, Hansen said. It is not uncommon for mountain lions to be seen out of higher elevations in the spring, he said.
Anyone who spots a cougar should contact Tooele County Dispatch by calling 435-882-5600 and keep their distance from the animal, Hansen said. Officers will respond to the area where the mountain lion was last spotted. If multiple calls come in, the state Division of Wildlife Resources is contacted to tranquilize and relocate the animal, if possible.
In August 2017, a mountain lion was spotted in Overlake and eluded officers for several hours before it was cornered and tranquilized in the backyard of a home on Berra Boulevard. The Overlake cougar, which was about 2 years old at the time, was released in an area canyon.
Last October, a young mountain lion was spotted three times in Stockton, including one incident where it was treed by hunting dogs that had gotten loose.