Idaho Fish and Game: Be Mindful of Bears and Mountain Lions
KETCHUM, Idaho (KLIX)-Idaho wildlife officials say people need to be aware of bears and mountain lions in the Wood River Valley after reported sightings along popular trails. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said a bear was spotted several times along the Adams Gulch Trail north of Ketchum recently and a mountain lion was seen near the Warm Springs Creek dog park.
Fish and Game said the black bear was not aggressive, but cautions people the animals can be unpredictable. The mountain lion didn't show any aggression either and ran away after it had been seen. During the later winter months Fish and Game reported several attacks on dogs throughout the Wood River Valley by the large cats, some were fatal.
Both bears and mountain lions are regular residents of the area and people are asked to mindful of that. Fish and Game provided some tips on what to do if a person encounters the animals:
Make as much noise as possible while slowing backing away.
- Always keep your eyes on the bear.
- Make yourself look as large as possible.
- Never drop a backpack – especially if it has food in it. Never give a bear a food reward by allowing it to get a meal from a dropped backpack.
- Bears can easily climb trees so don’t try to escape from a bear by climbing a tree.
- Allow the bear plenty of room to move away by providing them an escape route.
- Carry bear spray and have it readily available. Do not carry it in your backpack.
If a sow with cubs is encountered, do not get between the sow and her cubs. The odds of an attack become much more likely if the sow perceives a person as a threat to her cubs.
If you are attacked by a black bear, DO NOT PLAY DEAD. If unable to escape the attack, ﬁght back using any object available. Concentrate your kicks and blows on the bear's face and muzzle.
If a mountain lion is encountered a person should never run away since it could trigger the chase and catch instincts of a lion.
- Never turn your back to a mountain lion. Always face them while making yourself look as large as you can. Yell loudly, but don’t scream since a scream may mimic the sound of a wounded or injured animal.
- Slowly back away while maintaining eye contact with the lion.
- Carrying safety equipment is always appropriate such as bear spray, a noise device, and if you walk when it’s dark, carry a very bright flashlight.
- If you are attacked, fight back!