House cat likely responsible for striking fear in Ucon neighborhood
UCON — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has investigated multiple reports of cougar sightings in the Ucon area. But don’t panic — evidence points to a large house cat.
Many residents near the gravel pit on Crowley Road have reported the sighting to EastIdahoNews.com, the Ucon Police Department and the Fish and Game.
Cougars are not uncommon in the area, especially near the edge of towns, but all sightings near people are investigated for the public’s safety.
“Mountain lions can be found just about anywhere in our region,” IDFG spokesman Gregg Losinski told EastIdahoNews.com. “Generally, if small dogs and cats start to disappear, it is a sign of mountain lion activity, usually a young cat.”
Losinski investigated the reports around 3:45 Thursday afternoon and discovered small tracks similar to a house cat in the snow where the animal was reported.
He said people should not live in fear, but be smart about leaving small children unattended outdoors, as they normally should in any situation. A good place to find information on living in cougar country is The Cougar Fund.
The IDFG has reviewed several photos sent into them, but so far nothing has indicated that an actual cougar has been in the area.
IDFG asks if you have pictures of what you believe to be a cougar or its tracks, send them to the IDFG on social media or email them so the photos can be reviewed. Also, having something in the image to scale in the image is helpful.
“We all love Idaho because of how close we can be to nature. It’s important to always keep in mind that along with the beauty there are many things that can be dangerous. It is a good practice to always be aware of your surroundings and be especially cautious when dealing with any wildlife.” Losinski said.