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Mountain Lion Sightings Prompt Trapping Efforts
Wednesday, April 20, 2022


Idaho Fish and Game officers are deploying a trap in Hailey following reports of a large mountain lion sighted in residential neighborhoods.

There have been two recent reports documenting lion predation on domestic cats, according to Terry Thompson, regional communications manager for Idaho Fish and Game. So far, there have been no reports of dogs or domestic livestock injured, missing or taken.

Fish and Game officers hope to capture the lion and remove it from the city after determining that the animal has a pattern of frequent visits to the area.

Fish and Game biologists are concerned that this particular lion is becoming habituated to living within the community, which presents concerns for resident and pet safety, said Thompson. Residents are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings, especially during morning and evening. And it’s best to have pets on a leash during walks.

“Our goal is to encourage mountain lions to live in wild habitats, outside of our communities,” said Regional Conservation Officer Clint Rogers.

Officers recently found an adult lion that was suffering from malnutrition dead in Hailey’s Hop Porter Park. A young abandoned mountain lion kitten in poor condition was also recently euthanized near Bellevue. Officers sent the kitten to the Fish and Game wildlife lab for testing to determine if there was feline distemper.

There are a few different types of distemper that mountain lions can catch. A viral disease, distemper can resemble rabies and it is often fatal.

Reports of mountain lions in and near Wood River Valley towns increased in December when heavy snows began blanketing the area. Cached prey from lion kills were found north of Hailey and lions were spotted with cached elk carcasses near Ketchum.

Thompson said residents should check the area surrounding their homes to ensure that there are no areas where a lion could hide or daybed. Shed doors should be closed and secured and areas under decks should be closed off to not allow an animal seek shelter under a deck.

Residential garbage should be secured to keep all wildlife from having access to food items. While mountain lions do not typically eat residential garbage, unsecured garbage can attract other animals like skunks, raccoons and feral and outdoor cats, all of which are potential prey for mountain lions.

If you see a mountain lion:

  • NEVER run away. The lion’s instinct is to chase and catch what they perceive as a potential prey.
  •  NEVER turn your back on a lion. Always face them while making yourself look as large as you can.
  • YELL loudly, but don’t scream. A high-pitched scream may mimic the sound of a wounded animal.
  • SLOWLY back away while maintaining eye contact with the lion. 
  • CARRY a flashlight if you walk in the dark. Other helpful safety equipment includes bear spray and a noise device like an airhorn.
  • FIGHT BACK if you’re attacked.

Mountain lion sightings should be reported to the Magic Valley Regional Office at 208-324-4359.

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