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cougar track
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Cougar leaves mark on Herriman driveway

Photo: Natalie Velasquez. The Division of Wildlife Resources says this track was actually made by a dog.

HERRIMAN — A Utah family has some new driveway art, courtesy of a cougar that prompted a lock-out at two nearby schools.

Brandon Velasquez says his 16-year-old daughter, Isabelle, was heading out to go to school this morning in the family truck when she screamed, startled by the big cat hiding underneath the vehicle.

Velasquez says the mountain lion nearly brushed Isabelle as it raced past, then ran into the backyard and jumped their fence.

The family lives near Foothills Park on the Herriman/Riverton border. Two nearby schools went into shelter-in-place mode for the morning while wildlife officials responded to calls about the cougar.

The big cat left behind a souvenir: two claw marks, roughly four inches by four inches, which they described as being like rubber from a Nascar driver as the cougar peeled out of their driveway.

Another area resident, Wade Tycksen, captured video of the cougar jumping into his backyard and fleeing.

Wildlife officials say big cat sightings are not uncommon in northern Utah. Wild Aware Utah says cougars are known to live all over the state, from desert to mountains. If you spot mountain lions or other wild animals acting aggressively, the organization recommends contacting the Division of Natural Resources, or law enforcement if the sighting is after hours or on a weekend.