(KLIX) – Authorities killed a mountain lion after it wandered into town late Friday night in Lava Hot Springs, creating potential dangers for people there, according to wildlife officials.

The animal was first reported at a little before 7 p.m. Friday, often coming within just several feet of people, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said.

Fish and Game Conservation Officer Tyler Peterson and a deputy from the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call, but by the time they arrived the cat had moved on from where it was originally reported. Later, about 11 p.m., Peterson was notified the animal had returned and was sitting at the corner of the post office in Lava Hot Springs, allowing passers-by to take pictures of it.

Two Bannock County deputies and an Idaho State Police officer joined Peterson, but when they arrived they saw that the cat was on the move down a side road in town. The officers noticed that the cat seemed malnourished and injured, with a gash below its left eye.

They kept their own eyes on the cat, and once they determined that a safe zone of fire had been established, they dispatched the animal.

Fish and Game said,

Idaho has an abundant and sustainable mountain lion population, but when lions become too comfortable near people, it creates a potential public safety hazard. Fish and Game officials are unwilling to take that risk and let them wander freely in towns. Idaho has never had a recorded incident of a mountain lion killing a person.

They have, however, shown up in places they're not wanted. In the Gem State over the past year mountain lions have been reported and killed at a schoolyard in southwest Idaho, inside a chicken coop in Hayden, and in the backyard of a Couer d’Alene home.

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