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Sandy Police warn hikers of cougar spotted near trail

(Photo Credit: Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

SANDY – Animal service officers are taking a closer look above the Bonneville Trail Line after people spotted a cougar in an area near the area.  However, that cougar spotting doesn’t seem to be scaring hikers away.

Despite the signs above Hidden Valley Park warning hikers about the cougar that was spotted by two people yesterday, hiker Matthew Jack says, “It’s a great day to be out.”

He’s taking steps to protect himself, just in case he sees the cat.

“I carry a firearm or a knife with me as I go hiking, just in case.  It could surprise me, but, overall, I don’t feel like too prime of a target,” Jack says.

However, Sandy Police Sergeant Jason Nielsen says the cat has been staying in its own habitat, and doesn’t appear to be bothering anyone.

Nielsen says, “There have been no sightings of it down in the neighborhoods.  There has been no sightings of it approaching humans.”

Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  Police are recommending hikers travel in groups, and if they see the cougar to make themselves as big as possible.

“Our animal services are actually up there and they’ve been doing extra patrols just to keep an eye on things to make sure there are no signs that it has come into our area,” Nielsen says.

(Contributing: Mike Anderson, KSL TV)