Ogden Trails Network (OTN) shared on social media an unsubstantiated report of a dog killed by three mountain lions near the 21st Street trail head.
Since 3 p.m. on Sept. 19, the OTN Facebook page post has been shared over 1,600 times and received over 800 comments.
The post read: “Our good friend and owner of Rainbow Gardens just brought to our attention the following: Last night three mountain lions apparently killed a dog belonging to some hikers near the top of 21st street. We’d strongly advise to strictly adhere to the policy of keeping your dogs on leash while on trail, especially near the Mouth of Ogden Canyon.”
David Owen, who posts for the OTN Facebook page, admitted that he was “unclear on the details.” He said he “just copied and pasted it.”
Phil Douglass, the Division of Wildlife Resources Northern Region outreach manager, clarified the situation. Douglass said he spoke with Bill King, the owner of Rainbow Gardens. “Was it an actual attack? He said ‘No,'” Douglass said.
Douglass speculated as to what incited so much social media attention to the unfounded rumor.
“There’s an assumption that (there are dogs) being lost and taken by mountain lions,” Douglass said.
Adding to the speculation of mountain lion encroachment and attacks is last week’s report from police that a group of three mountain lions was spotted while police were searching for a felon near Hidden Valley, above Ogden’s east bench.
At press time, Ogden City Animal Services had not received any reports of a mountain lion attack near the 21st Street trail head in the last week.
Douglass and Owen remind people to be respectful of wildlife.
Douglass said the best place for information on mountain lions and how to avoid conflict with wildlife is at wildawareutah.org.
“We take these reports seriously,” Douglass said.
“It’s a good reminder to be careful out there,” Owen said. “The last thing we want is everyone packing guns into the hills.”
If you have information, call the DWR Northern Region office at 801-476-2740.