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Mountain Lions Attack Dogs and Other Domestic Animals
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Tuesday, January 23, 2024
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

A mountain lion attacked two dogs in East Fork this week, and another mountain lion was euthanized after it killed 20 animals in a residential area in north Hailey.

A mountain lion attacked two dogs at a residence in Eat Fork on Thursday, Jan. 18, according to Terry Thompson, communications for Idaho Fish and Game’s Magic Valley office. The homeowner was able to come to the aid of both dog, stopping the attacks, and the dogs survived.

Fish and Game biologists were unable to locate the lion, but area residents were made aware of the incidents through a homeowner’s association email.

On Sunday, Jan. 14, an adult female mountain lion was trapped and euthanized after it attacked animals in an animal enclosure in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 12. The lion killed 11 chickens, two geese, six ducks and one house cat during its attack.

The livestock owners said the enclosure was secured the evening before but speculated that high winds that swept through the Wood River Valley that night might have blown open a window, allowing the lion entry into the enclosure. Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers tried to track the lion in the snow but lost its tracks when it entered a residential area.

They decided to deploy a large trap that day since the lion had attacked and killed domestic livestock in an enclosure. The lion was caught two days later.

Thompson said Fish and Game has received other reports about mountain lions frequenting populated neighborhoods throughout the valley during the past several weeks. Some are within city limits and areas of dense residential development.

Nils Ribi spotted a bobcat sitting on the deck of his neighbor’s home in Elkhorn this week. Beautiful to behold, it has not been implicated in any casualties.

IF YOU ENCOUNTER A MOUNTAIN LION:

NEVER run away from a mountain lion. The lion’s instinct is to chase and ultimately catch what they perceive as potential prey.

NEVER turn your back on a lion. Always face them while making yourself look as large as you can. Yell loudly, but don’t scream. A high-pitched scream may mimic the sound of a wounded animal.

SLOWLY back away while maintaining eye contact with the lion. 

When walking or hiking, consider carrying a cannister of bear spray and a noise device like an air-horn. If you walk in the dark, carry a very bright flashlight.

If you are attacked, fight back!

Residents should check around their homes or apartments for areas where a lion could find a place to hide or daybed. Areas under decks should be blocked so that lions cannot access the space during daylight hours. 

To learn more about how to safely live in proximity to wildlife, check out The Wood River Valley Wildlife Smart Communities coalition’s website at www.wrvwildlifesmart.org.

Residents should immediately report any wildlife incident or attack or sightings to the Magic Valley Regional Office at 208-324-4359 or to your local law enforcement agency.

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