Kids pet mountain lion found hiding under Utah home

The cat was so big it had to be tranquilized a few times to knock it out. (NBC/KSL)

UINTAH, Utah (NBC/KSL) — Cats hide under the porch all the time, but the feline a man discovered under the porch at his home near Salt Lake City was a whole lot bigger, heavier and dangerous than the average kitty.

“Her head was the size of a basketball, and the paws were huge,” said Kyle Stringham, describing what the mountain lion looked like.

The Stringhams, who live in Weber County, were at a friend’s cabin near Bear Lake when someone at the cabin noticed what they thought was a mountain lion underneath the porch. It was a mountain lion, all right. Some of the adults went down to the porch with a flashlight and could see her eyes glowing.

“It was pretty exciting, you know,” said Stringham. “I had a big guy on this side and a big guy on this side, so I felt pretty good. I’m faster.”

Eventually, Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources showed up. The cat was so big it had to be tranquilized a few times to knock it out. They even let the kids pet the cat — before taking her away.

“The guys were excellent — extremely professional,” said Stringham.

Stringham loves spending time in the mountains hunting, fishing and camping, which is why he knows how rare it is to see a mountain lion. It’s another reason why he told his children to take a picture and remember this because it may never happen again.

“Most people never see a mountain lion because they’re that creature,” said Stringham. “They know you’re there before you do.”

Wildlife officials say the cat was 2- or 3 years old and weighed 130 pounds. It was tagged and released in the mountains unharmed.

 

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