The cougar that almost tore apart a hiker while protecting her cubs has left the building, so to speak ... and because of that, wildlife officials are gonna leave her be.
A rep for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources tells TMZ ... the department has gotten a bunch of messages since Kyle Burgess' scary encounter with the big cat, with many people concerned the animal could still be on the trail near Provo, and pose a danger to the public.
However, we're told the agency got even more calls begging them not to harm the mountain lion -- citizens who argued it hadn't done anything but try to protect its babies.
Welp, the department was able to address both sides.
We're told rangers hit the Slate Canyon trail over the past couple days, trying to spot the cougar anywhere in immediate proximity to the walking path. Fortunately, the UDWR says it did NOT find the cat, and therefore ... suspended its search and deemed the area safe.
That's pretty much what Kyle wanted -- he told us he wished no harm to the "kitty cat," as he felt she was just following her maternal instincts.
The UDWR won't be posting warning signs either -- the agency feels it's common knowledge the cats are in the area. As for how to deal with one ... well, see Kyle's video. Worked out for him!!!
FWIW, if rangers had come across the cougar ... they would've considered tranquilizing it and relocating it to an area away from the trail.