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Mountain lion rescue drawing praise from around the world

By Laura Giles correspondent - | Jun 29, 2015
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A mountain lion was tranquilized after it was found in a tree in Pleasant Grove on Friday, June 26. 

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A mountain lion was tranquilized after it was found in a tree in Pleasant Grove on Friday, June 26. 

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A mountain lion was tranquilized after it was found in a tree in Pleasant Grove on Friday, June 26. 

PLEASANT GROVE – Since a mountain lion was found, tranquilized and relocated from Pleasant Grove last week, the city’s police department has been receiving acknowledgements of gratitude from animal lovers from around the world.

The lion was initially found in a tree at about 11 a.m. Friday near the Murdock Canal Trail and 800 South.

After news of the mountain lion rescue and relocation broke, the Pleasant Grove Police Department began receiving emails from throughout the United States, as well as Canada, England, Australia, The Netherlands and South Africa, according to Police Chief Mike Smith. The writers of the emails are grateful for the way the police department and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) handled the incident and ensured the animal was not harmed.

Comments from the emails include, “Thank you for your compassion,” “Thank you for taking the high road rather than the easy road and just killing this beautiful cat,” “This is how I want my taxes spent” and “Utah has now firmly cemented itself with me as a state to visit on future trips to the USA.”

Photos and information about the incident were posted Friday on the Pleasant Grove Police Department’s Facebook page. The post has been shared more than 1,000 times since.

“I was very impressed with both the Pleasant Grove police and the DWR,” said Donna Knudsen, who lives near the Murdock Canal Trail.

Knudsen had a front-row seat to the event when the mountain lion ran through her backyard, as well as several others, after it was shot with the tranquilizer.

“Then it disappeared,” Knudsen said. “They kept searching until it was found.”

It was found in Knudsen’s garage.

“I was very surprised it ended up in my garage because it ran in the opposite direction,” she said.

“The first thing the DWR did after they were sure it was asleep was cool it down with the garden hose,” she said. “Both the police and the DWR explained everything during the entire episode.”

The mountain lion was later released at an undisclosed location.

For information about mountain lions and safety tips, go to wildlife.utah.gov.

What to do if you meet an aggressive mountain lion (cougar):

— Do not run

— Make yourself look intimidating

— If you have children, pick them up

— If you are attacked, fight back

Source: Division of Wildlife Resources

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