A Reason for an Uptick in Idaho Mountain Lion Attacks
They’re coming out of the hills and the high country in growing numbers. In Idaho there have been several attacks by mountain lions in the Wood River Valley. The victims are usually dogs. In Arizona a group of mountain lions were seen chewing on human remains. It’s believed they didn’t make the kill but swept in to scavenge.
Idaho Fish and Game spokesman Terry Thompson believes we’re partly responsible. We’re building out more and more into the paths used by wildlife and then we’re offering a banquet.
Landscaping attracts the herbivores and the herbivores attract the carnivores.
We do this because some people insist on feeding deer and elk. Especially in winter, when we’ve seen the spike in lion attacks. The big cats follow the herds. If the herds are in your backyard it’s the equivalent of ringing a dinner bell for predators. Mountain Lions are also now being spotted much more often in broad daylight. Near Pocatello there are stories of some near schools.
The Arizona story was recounted on Newsradio 1310, KLIX by a caller from Murtaugh who winters in the warmer climate.
Mountain lions aren’t alone in taking advantage of our cultural changes. We know bears and wolves are taking stock of food sources closer to our homes. Landscaping attracts the herbivores and the herbivores attract the carnivores.
They key is to be aware of your surroundings. One early morning last winter I was in the storage barn behind the radio station. I heard a piercing noise I’ve only heard on television. It sounded like a mountain lion. I didn’t stay in the area very long.
If you click on the video below, you can hear our conversation with Fish and Game.