Two Mountain Lions Lethally Removed From Wood River Valley
HAILEY, Idaho (KLIX) Idaho wildlife managers say two mountain lions had to be lethally removed from the Wood River Valley within a week. According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game one instance, a mountain lion was discovered on the airfield in Hailey, the other, a mountain lion killed a dog in the back yard of a home. Officials say many mountain lions are trying to find food to hunt in the lower valleys where normally there is an abundance of game like elk and deer. But, with such a mild winter many of the big game animals are not roaming the lower valleys. On the night of January 20, Idaho Fish and Game had to kill a lion that had been seen roaming the Freidman Memorial Airport that prevented a commercial flight from landing for several minutes. Officials explained in a prepared statement several non-lethal options were discussed to remove the big cat from the area. One was to use a tranquilizer, but it was late at night and officials worried they would loose the animal, "Darted animals may take more than five to ten minutes to succumb to drugs and can travel hundreds of yards after being darted; becoming difficult to find and a greater threat if they can not be contained where darted. An animal under the effects of drugs can act erratically, and dangerously" said Idaho Fish and Game in a prepared statement. The other option was to let the animal leave on its own which could have delayed other flights and posed a risk to other aircraft. The second incident involved an older female mountain lion that attacked and killed a dog at a residence in the Gimlet subdivision on January 24, according to Idaho Fish and Game. Game officials were concerned with the cat becoming habituated to being around homes. The mountain lion was trapped and euthanized. Idaho Fish and Game says human safety is always the priority when deciding how to deal with problem wildlife.