Thursday, July 9, 2020
Mountain Lion Attack Stopped by Dog’s Owner
Idaho Fish and Game officers set up this trap after the incident on Canyon Drive, placing a pronghorn quarter taken from roadkill along with a small stuffed animal smeared with a concoction of various scents that will attract lions. They removed it after the lion did not return to the site.
Tuesday, December 24, 2019



A mountain lion has attacked a fifth dog—this one a Labrador retriever in the Indian Creek subdivision north of Hailey.

The attack occurred in an area that hosts a herd of mule deer, which might have brought the lion into close proximity to the neighborhood, said Idaho Fish and Game Senior Conservation Officer Brandyn Hurd.

The homeowners reported letting the dog out at 6:15 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. Hearing loud noises in the backyard, they ran out to find a mountain lion attacking the dog in an unfenced backyard.

They ran into the yard, yelling at the cat, and it immediately dropped the dog and left.

“That takes a lot of guts,” said Terry Thompson, communications officer for Idaho Fish and Game. “Sometimes we do things to save our pets that we think back on later, wondering if that was the safest thing to do.”

The dog had puncture wounds around the neck where the lion had taken it in its powerful jaws. Its owners took it to the veterinarian where it was treated for the puncture wounds and other injuries. It is back home with its owners.

It’s believed there may be more incidents this winter because elk and mule deer have become year-round residents of the Wood River Valley.

This was the fifth lion attack on a dog since Saturday, Dec. 14. Other attacks occurred on Canyon Drive south of Ketchum, in West Ketchum near Bird and Wood River drives and in the Warm Springs area near the dog park.

“We don’t want to cause alarm and make people think there’s a mountain lion behind every bush,” said Thompson. “Normal mountain lion behavior is to run away when they see someone. For some reason, some mountain lions in the Wood River Valley have become more aggressive.”

Even though there are scads of deer and elk that have moved into residential neighborhoods with winter’s first snows, mountain lion are opportunistic animals. And it’s easier for them to take down a dog than a bull elk.

One of the dogs that was killed last week did look as if the mountain lion had tried to feed on it. Human activity may have scared the other lions off before they got a chance to do so.

Thompson urged pet owners to take precautionary measures:

  • Turn on a light and survey the yard before you let your dog out in the morning. It’s best if you go out with them.
  • If you walk your dog in early morning or early evening, keep it on a leash.
  • Carry a bright flashlight when walking at dawn or dusk and even bear spray. One woman says she even carries a personal safety alarm that fits in her pocket and emits a loud screeching sound if activated.
  • Don’t feed pets outdoors.
  • Ensure there are no spaces around your home, such as crawl spaces under decks, sheds or window wells, that a mountain lion can use as a den.
  • Don’t assume a six-foot fence will keep your pet safe. Mountain lions have been recorded jumping a 12-foot fence.
  • If you encounter a lion, do not run away. Make yourself looks as big as possible. Yell and slowly back away. Never turn your back on the lion.

Report encounters to the Magic Valley Regional Office at 208-324-4359. After hours, call the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999.

You can also call the Blaine County Sheriff at 208-788-5555.



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