SALT LAKE CITY — A young mountain lion has been shot and killed by a police officer it charged after being tranquilized in a residential area of Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer said the officer shot the cougar twice early Monday morning when it came within six feet.

He says an ambulance crew spotted the mountain lion at about 3:15 a.m. Monday. Police and state wildlife officials arrived later to tranquilize the male cougar who was hunkered down in bushes.

Riley Peck of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says the 70-pound cougar likely came down from the nearby mountains in search for his own territory after being set loose by its mother. He says young mountain lions live alone until they take mates and have cubs. He was likely 1-2 years old.

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