Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Cat’s Out of the Bag! Mountain Lion Exhibit Coming to Swaner EcoCenter

The Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter and the Quinney College of Natural Resources of Utah State University are pleased to announce a special exhibition called Mountain Lions!  The Story of Pumas and People. The exhibition blends science, history, and art to provide an in-depth look at Utah’s most mysterious and elusive predator. Opening day on November 15 at Swaner EcoCenter in Park City marks the exhibition’s debut in Utah. It will run through the end of March 2015 and is presented in partnership with the Center for Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College.  

People and mountain lions, also called cougars or pumas, have lived together for thousands of years. Mountain Lion! tells the story of this ancient relationship as well as documents the hunting techniques, habits, and physical features of modern mountain lions that have allowed them to survive for millennia. The exhibition includes large life-like displays with mountain lion figures as well as a wide variety of artifacts and informational panels.

There has been a dramatic rise in cougar sightings and encounters on the urban fringes of numerous Western cities in the last two decades. Living safely and peacefully with mountain lions today is an important subject addressed by the exhibit. The exhibit will teach visitors how to read cougar behavior, to recognize tracks and scat, and will offer practical tips on what to do in case of an encounter. 

The exhibition will be supplemented by a series of talks given by experts, including researchers from Utah State University’s Quinney College of Natural Resources. In addition, the Swaner EcoCenter will offer interactive opportunities for children that visit the new exhibition and field trip opportunities will be available for youth and school groups. The EcoCenter staff will also be gathering information about mountain lion sightings in the area. 

Mountain Lion! has been organized and developed by the Center for Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO, and made possible through additional sponsorships.  The exhibit was brought to the Swaner EcoCenter in part through the support of the Utah Arts & Museums, with funding from the State of Utah. Major contributions from the Summit County RAP Tax, Utah State University Extension Grants, USU’s Quinney College of Natural Resources, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and individual donors were also crucial to making this project a reality.

For more information visit or contact the Nell Larson, Director of Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, at 435-797-8941 or

The Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter is located at 1258 Center Drive, Park City, UT. 

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