Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Mountain Lion Pays Unwanted House Call
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The guest who came to dinner--Kevin Kaiser photographed this mountain lion looking in his Warm Springs home just before Christmas.
 
Saturday, December 28, 2019
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTO BY KEVIN KAISER

It was like the peeping Tom. The creepy neighbor coming a-calling.

Surely Kevin Kaiser must’ve felt a chill run down his spine as he snapped a photo of a mountain lion outside on the patio of his Warm Springs home looking in—in broad daylight.

No telling if the cougar was looking for poodles and oodles. Or, just wanted a respite from the cold. Kaiser hadn't set out even a plate of Christmas cookies as far as the lion could see. With nothing looking appetizing, he was off as quickly and stealthily as he showed.

It’s not known if the photo of the cougar, taken before Christmas, was one of those involved in five dog attacks ranging from Indian Creek to the Warm Springs neighborhood since Dec. 14. But he was definitely too close for comfort. And he was not on Kaiser’s list of invitees.

Idaho Fish and Game Officer Terry Thompson says this is a reminder that some lions appear to have become more accustomed to prowling around Wood River Valley neighborhoods over the past few months.

Some pointers to make your home less attractive:

  • When leaving your house, be aware of your surroundings. Look and listen for signs of wildlife near your house.
  • Do not feed wildlife! Elk and deer are the preferred prey for mountain lions. Unnaturally feeding elk and deer will bring in predators to the feed site.
  • Strongly encourage your neighbors to not feed elk and deer. To effectively keep predators out of neighborhoods everyone must do their part.
  • Do not leave your household garbage outside and unsecured. As with pet food, the garbage will not typically attract a mountain lion, but it might attract other wildlife that would be considered prey by a lion.
  • Ensure that a lion cannot get under your patio or deck. These spaces can be a perfect location for a day-bed.
  • Place covers over window-wells which can also be a place for a lion to use as a day-bed.
  • Install motion-sensor lights which may discourage wildlife from staying in your yard. Lights can be directed to minimize impact on your neighbors.
  • Do not feed your pet outside, or leave their food dishes outside. The mountain lion will not typically be attracted by the food, but the food could attract other wildlife that could be looked at as prey by a lion.
  • Before letting your pet outside, turn on lights, make noise and look to ensure the yard is clear of wildlife. Do not assume that a privacy fence will exclude a mountain lion from your yard.
  • Accompany your pet--and child--outside if possible.
  • Remember to use all of your senses to detect if a mountain lion is near. Using a light to help you see your surroundings is very important, both in your yard, or as you walk in your neighborhood. If you run or bike for personal fitness, use caution when wearing headphones which take away your ability to hear if a lion, or any other wildlife that is giving you signals that you’re too close.

ELK ALERT

Megan Davis said she encountered a huge herd of elk trying to cross highway 75 a quarter mile north of the East Fork road light while headed to Ketchum Friday night to Gallery Walk.

"They looked so scared, timid and cautious," she said. "Two were standing right on the edge of the highway trying to figure how to cross, then I supposed the rest would follow.   But with that many trying to cross, the highway would likely be shut down for many minutes.  It 5:30 p.m., so very dark.  There is a long lines of vehicles heading home after work--driving 50 to 60 miles per hour.   I have seen this before.  Often leads to horrible elk car collisions. I just hope people will slow down, watch for elk and be careful."

 

 

 

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