Apr 25, 2017 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterTwo members of the Riverton Police Department had a brush with a mountain lion Monday after the animal was spotted on Sunset Drive near Jaycee Park.
RPD Sgt. Scott Komrs said it's the first time in his experience that officers have come into contact with a mountain lion in city limits.
"It's not unusual that we get the calls for mountain lions," he said Tuesday, "but this is the first time we've actually been able to find one. ... It was the first time I'd certainly had that much contact."
Several people reported seeing the animal before 7 a.m. Monday, Komrs said, including one individual who watched the lion cross Major Avenue and head into Jaycee Park in the 1700 block of West Sunset Drive.
Komrs guessed the cat may have been attracted to that location by the presence of mule deer grazing in nearby alfalfa fields. There were also a couple of horses in the area, but Komrs said "they didn't seem real concerned."
"I don't know that they knew he was around," Komrs said.
The horses even ran toward RPD Sgt. Charlie Marshall, who works as a school resource officer across the street from Jaycee Park, when he responded to the scene with Komrs.
"I think (they were) thinking he was going to feed them," Komrs said.
Instead, Komrs continued, Marshall began climbing the fence that surrounded the pasture.
From his perch atop the fence, he suddenly spotted the mountain lion lying underneath some bushes and looking straight at him.
"They stumbled on each other," Komrs said. "(It) kind of spooked both of them."
The cat, startled by Marshall, began running toward Komrs, who had arrived on the other side of the pasture. Komrs described the animal as a full-sized adult.
"It was a good-sized mountain lion," Komrs said.
When it came to the fence it entered a ditch line, following that path across Cooper Road.
"It was last seen headed north out into the hills," Komrs said.
The RPD notified the Wyoming Game and Fish Department of the incident, as well as school officials, who made sure students were aware of any danger. No further problems with the mountain lion were reported.
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