The Main Stream

Aug 2, 2014 7:44 PM by Lauren Reimer

West side residents come face to face with mountain lion

TUCSON - Living in this part of the country, we often get used to seeing coyotes or javelina or even a bobcat near our homes, especially the folks that live on the outer edges of Tucson.

But what would you do if you found a mountain lion in your back yard? That's exactly what happened in one west side neighborhood.

Coffee the dog was the first to let her owners know of the big cat, her brother joined in on the alert shortly after

"The little one just decided to bark at it," said Caitlynn Weymann, who lives in the house with her father.

The mountain lion was perched high in a tree, and it wouldn't budge. So the family called the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

"They had to tranquilize it, they gave it three or four times, and it just wasn't going down," said Weymann.

Neighbor Mel Simmons watched the whole thing from over the gate in his back yard.

He's lived in this house for 40 years, and never once had a mountain lion for a visitor.

"That was the closest I've ever seen one," he said.

He thinks the animal may have been checking out the neighborhood for some time, by the way his dogs were behaving. "Wednesday night they were really acting up. I didn't get up to see what was going on, but maybe it's a good thing because I might have run into that guy," said Simmons.

Game and Fish eventually got the lion out of the tree, and had it euthanized, saying it posed a threat to public safety.

Mountain lions often come into residential areas looking for food. To keep one from coming into your neighborhood, avoid feeding wildlife in your yard, and feed pets indoors.

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