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IDFG investigating two reported mountain lion sightings over the weekend

Pocatello

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POCATELLO – Idaho Department of Fish and Game is investigating two reports of mountain lion sightings in Pocatello over the weekend.

The sightings allegedly happened near Red Hill Trail behind Mountain View Cemetery. 

The first call came in on the evening of Saturday, May 19. The second call came in around 12:30 am Monday morning. IDFG personnel responded during daylight hours. They used drones to survey the area. 

IDFG also brought in an expert mountain lion hunter with a trained hound to work the area. 

IDFG did not find any sign of a mountain lion in the area, so the reported sightings remain unconfirmed.

IDFG responded to similar reports of mountain lion sightings in this area earlier this month. A treed mountain lion was successfully darted and moved to a very remote location in southeast Idaho Friday, May 11.

Five days later, responded to another report of a mountain lion in the Red Trail area. It was never confirmed.

There have also been reported sightings of mountain lions near Charlotte Road in Mink Creek, on Birdie Thompson Drive in Pocatello, and on Pocatello Creek Road.

“It is unusual to get so many mountain lion reports this time of year,” Jennifer Jackson, Regional Conservation Educator for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game says in a news release. “Though mountain lion sightings in and around Pocatello do happen throughout the year, especially during winter when more deer are down low, we don’t have an explanation for why we are getting so many reports this particular spring.”

IDFG is looking at various factors to try and determine the increase in reports from the public.

Though encounters between people and mountain lions are rare, IDFG recommends following these guidelines if you do encounter one.

  1. Do not run.
  2. If you are with children, pick them up without bending over.
  3. Do not turn your back on the lion, crouch down, or try to hide.
  4. Remain facing the lion and slowly back away. Leave the animal an escape route.
  5. Try to appear as large as possible—stand on a rock or stump, hold up your arms, stand next to others.
  6. Shout, wave your arms, and throw objects if the lion does not leave the area.
  7. Carry bear spray. If the mountain lion charges, use it!
  8. Fight back if a mountain lion attacks. Stay on your feet and use sticks, rocks, backpack, hands to fight back.
  9. Never approach a mountain lion or offer it food.

In Idaho, there have been three reported attacks of mountain lions on humans since 1990, and none of those encounters were lethal.

For more information about mountain lion encounters, CLICK HERE.

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