It appears a cougar is on the loose in the Star Valley Lamplighter RV Park — not the two-legged variety (although they might be on the prowl, too). This one’s a four-legged mountain lion.
A resident spotted what looked like a mountain lion Monday in the park.
Office Manager Janet Bailey said she called the Gila County Sheriff’s Office after a tenant saw the cat-like animal walking toward the clubhouse about 9:30 a.m., apparently headed toward the hill behind the clubhouse.
By the time a deputy arrived, the cat was gone.
Bailey said residents have reported several mountain lion sightings in the park in the past few years.
Although no residents or dogs have had a run in with any of the big cats, Bailey said she encourages residents not to walk near the hill at night.
Jarrod McFarlin, local wildlife manager with Game and Fish, said Rim Country residents report lion sightings every year.
Shy and elusive, they mostly stay on the outskirts of town, but are occasionally seen in the early morning or evening hours.
The cats usually keep their distance, but can be dangerous.
Confronted with a cat, residents should continue facing it as they walk away slowly.
“They might see a mountain lion, but often times it is an orange house cat,” he said.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department estimates there are roughly 3,000 mountain lions in the state. They usually pass through human-occupied space, but may stay longer if drawn by food, water or shelter.
Living in Lion Country
• Hike or walk in groups.
• Closely supervise children, especially in
rugged country after dusk.
• Keep domestic animals indoors or in a
secure enclosure with a sturdy roof.
• Always walk pets on a leash. Keep
• Avoid feeding wildlife, since other
wildlife may attract lions.
• Trim landscaping around your home.
Source: Arizona Game and Fish