A family in American Fork gets a scare when they find a cougar in their garage

AMERICAN FORK, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A family in American Fork got quite a surprise Tuesday morning when they found a cougar in their garage.


"I see this figure I think it's a big dog but then when I get up to it's face it looks and me and like growls,” says 17-year-old Spencer Niutupuivaha.


Niutupuivaha was helping put the lawn mower back in the garage, when he spotted the big animal in the corner. After it growled at him he did what most of us would do, “I back up slowly and I start running towards the door and lock the door,” said Niutupuivaha.


The door wasn't locked for long, minutes later Niutupuivaha’s brother came back out to the garage to get this video of the big female cat.


The family wasn't the only one to spot the cat; neighbors saw the cougar earlier that morning


"I just drove by I looked in their driveway and I thought I saw a Great Dane. I took a second look and it was a big cat,” said Jim Nielsen. "I asked my wife ‘do you think they have a pet mountain lion?’ and she said ‘I don't think you can have a pet mountain lion.’"


When DNR got there they tranquilized the cougar. They say they had had multiple sightings of this cat in and around the American Fork area over the last couple of weeks and because it appeared to be making a living inside city limits they had to euthanize the animal for the public's safety.


DNR Wildlife Program Manager Covy Jones said, "They're nocturnal, they hunt at night and they're scared of people so the fact this animal was down, not even on the edge of the mountain, but in the city and comfortable around people it is not typical behavior."


Jones says anyone who runs across a cougar should not run away, because when you run you look like prey. Instead, someone should try to make themselves look as large as possible and try to make a lot of noise to scare the animal away.  

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