Mountain lion High School Butte

Photographers and curious onlookers watch from the sidewalk in front of Maverik gas station Thursday morning in an attempt to get a glimpse of a mountain lion staked out on High School Butte.

A napping, lounging mountain lion immediately across the street from the Maverik gas station enraptured an audience of humans for a second straight day Thursday.

But unlike the day before, the cat barely budged.

Jackson Hole wildlife filmmaker Jeff Hogan, who captures footage of cougars regularly, was not surprised by the animal’s lethargy during the daylight hours.

“I think everything that cat is doing is completely normal behavior,” Hogan said nine hours into filming on Thursday.

Wildlife professionals with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department say they are monitoring the situation, but they are not too concerned.

“Obviously, the priority for us is public safety,” spokesman Mark Gocke said, “and we don’t view it as a public safety issue really.”

The agency’s plans are to leave the lion be, Gocke said.

“The cat’s been keeping to itself for the most part,” he said, “and it seems like everybody’s staying at a safe distance.”

The cougar has been lingering at the base of a juniper tree on High School Butte a hundred yards or so from South Park Loop Road, sticking to the area —and to the deer carcass it has cached a short way downslope.

Hundreds of photographers, wildlife watchers and curious passersby lined the sidewalk north of Maverik throughout the day Thursday, with some folks posting up throughout all the daylight hours.

The only factor that seemed to make the crowd dissipate was darkness, which set in around 5:30 p.m.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them for 7 years. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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