Sat, Jan. 18

Mountain Lion sighting in Clarkdale

Jordan's neighbor isn't laughing.

She says she's more aware of her surroundings and won't allow her granddaughter to traverse the 250 feet that separates the homes on her property.

"We won't let her go house to house at dark anymore," she explains.

According to an employee at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, sightings have been reported on numerous occasions, most recently on Nov. 24 at Tavasci Marsh.

Coming on the heals of Wednesday's hunt and the ultimate death of a mountain lion on Mount Elden in Flagstaff, Eric Gardner of Arizona Game and Fish says he takes sightings seriously.

"We evaluate each of these lion encounters on a case-by-case basis," he explains.

According to Jordan, when he contacted the wildlife manager for the Arizona Game and Fish in Flagstaff he was told it wasn't the manager's territory but someone would get back in contact with him.

"No one has ever called," said Jordan. "They won't do anything unless it attacks."

If it gets to that point, he will take care of the situation personally.

"It won't be a problem," he says, "I won't hesitate a second. You have to protect yourself."

Jordan spotted the mountain lion the morning following its attack on his dog. "The lion was as big as my Husky. He's no small animal," explains Jordan.

Gardner says he has no record of any sightings or attacks but admits that it is possible the information just didn't get passed on.

"If in fact a dog has been attacked," he said, "we would want to seriously evaluate the situation."

Gardner says he was aware of only two lion sightings last month. At that time, he says, the agency considered tracking the animal but to the best of his knowledge no additional reports have been submitted.

Meanwhile, Arizona Game and Fish advises residents near the Bent River Road area between Clarkdale and Cottonwood to be on a state of heightened awareness.

"Dawn and dusk are the times lions are most likely to be active," said Gardner. "Kids should not be playing outside unattended and pets should be safe and contained."

He adds that water and food should not be left outside and residents should report even routine observations.

"It doesn't hurt us to have information, and we need to have that information on a timely basis," Gardner explains.

To report any mountain lion sightings or encounters, call (928) 692-7700.

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