Mountain Lion Euthanized After Dog Killed in Wood River Valley
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-State game officials removed a mountain lion from a subdivision in the Wood River Valley after a dog was killed during the weekend.
According to Idaho Fish and Game, a mountain lion was seen in a Ketchum subdivision on Saturday after a woman found it in her back yard. The woman's dog was later found dead beneath a tree with the six to seven-year-old mountain lion lying next to it.
A Fish and Game officer asked for help from the Ketchum Police Department who were first to arrive at the home. They found the dog had been partially eaten by the mountain lion.
The cat was quickly found about 200 feet from where the dog was killed in the yard next door. “We euthanized the lion safely, quickly and humanely, in accordance with our protocol for lions that show habituation to humans or pets in residential areas,” Fish and Game’s Magic Valley Region Supervisor Craig White said in a prepared statement.
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.
Fish and Game says a couple cats were spotted earlier in the Wood River Valley, but they were not sure if this cat was one of them. A dog was attacked and eventually died in mid-January in Bellevue after being attacked by a mountain lion. Sightings of mountain lions have also been reported in other parts of the state this winter with one being put down in Lava Hot Springs that wondered right into the middle of town.
Here are tips from Idaho Fish and Game on if you encounter a mountain lion:
- Do not run.
- If you are with children, pick them up without bending over.
- Do not turn your back on the lion, crouch down, or try to hide.
- Remain facing the lion and slowly back away. Leave the animal an escape route.
- Try to appear as large as possible — stand on a rock or stump, hold up your arms, stand next to others.
- Shout, wave your arms, and throw objects if the lion does not leave the area.
- Fight back if a mountain lion attacks. Stay on your feet and use sticks, rocks, a backpack, or hands to fight back. Use bear spray if you have it.
- Never approach a mountain lion or offer it food.