Cougar Attack Reported on Weber River

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Two cougar incidents on July 16 in northern Utah have prompted wildlife officials to ask recreationists and those who live near wildlife to be alert for possible encounters.

On Wednesday morning, Division of Wildlife Resources officers in Cache Valley were informed that a cougar was in a tree near a residential area. The animal was tranquilized and relocated.

That same afternoon, an angler reported being attacked by a cougar while he was fishing on the Weber River near the town of Peoa, 40 miles east of Salt Lake. The angler suffered minor injuries that did not require treatment. Officers were still looking for the cougar on Friday morning. Because of public safety concerns, the cougar will be destroyed if it's found.

Wildlife officials say drought conditions have affected wildlife movements and behavior this year. "This has been quite a summer for moving moose out of residential areas," said Mike Welch, wildlife manager for the DWR's Northern Region.

Welch also reported that campgrounds along the South Fork of the Ogden River have been visited by moose that are looking for water and a cool place. He warns that while moose are seemingly docile and slow moving, they can move fast and are dangerous.

Hikers and joggers have also reported seeing numerous rattlesnakes in the foothills along the Wasatch Front. Wildlife officers in North Ogden recently responded to a residential area where a rattlesnake had bit a family dog.