HAILEY, Idaho (KLIX)-Idaho wildlife managers are reminding dog owners to be vigilant in the Wood River Valley after a fifth attack by a mountain lion during the weekend.

According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, officers were notified Monday of an attack that happened on Dec. 21, north of Hailey when a Labrador retriever was let out of a home a little aft 6 a.m. The owners heard noises coming from the open back yard and found the big cat attacking the dog.

The owners were able to stop the attack and the cat released the dog, which was injured. Fish and Game said it had been the fifth attack on dogs within a week in the Wood River Valley.

Mountain lions typically prey on elk and deer, but will opportunistically take other animals when they are present. Elk and mule deer have become year-round residents of the Wood River Valley which is seemingly increasing the number of predators throughout the area.

Conservation officers said the attack happened in an area with a herd of mule dear, which may have attracted the mountain lion into the area. People living the area should be vigilant and aware of their surroundings, according to Fish and Game, and recommend people stay with their pet outdoors, especially when it is dark in the early morning and evening hours. Officials also say a fenced yard is not a secure space for a pet as the big cats can easily clear a six foot fence.
Fish and Game offered these tips:
- Don’t feed your pets outside, or leave their food dishes outside your home.

- Insure there are no spaces around your home accessible to a mountain lion to use as a den, such as under decks, sheds, or window wells.

- Turn on exterior lights when going outside your home when it’s dark outside.

-If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run away! Make yourself look as big as possible, yell, and slowly back away from the encounter.

-Do not turn your back on the lion. Bear spray may be a good safety item to carry with you as well.

Any sightings or encounters with mountain lions should be reported to Idaho Fish and Game, Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359.

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