Mountain lion sightings reported in Twin Falls neighborhood - East Idaho News

Mountain lion sightings reported in Twin Falls neighborhood

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The following is a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

TWIN FALLS – Over the last week, residents of Twin Falls have reported sightings of a mountain lion within city limits. Initial reports were in neighborhoods around Carriage Lane and Addison Avenue and more recently in the neighborhoods around Cascade Park and Stadium Drive. There have been no reports of attacks on people or pets.

While observations and sightings have been reported, no direct evidence has been found and none of the recent reports have been confirmed.

Residents are encouraged to report sightings to either Idaho Fish and Game, Magic Valley Region at (208) 324-4359 or the Twin Falls Police Department dispatch at (208) 735-4357.

Personal safety

Wildlife managers agree that if a person sees a mountain lion, they should:

– 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.

– Safety equipment you may choose to carry could include bear spray, a noise device, like an air-horn, and if you walk in the dark, a very bright flashlight.

– If you are attacked, fight back!

Remember to use all your senses to detect if a mountain lion is nearby. 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, is giving you signals that you’re too close.

Pet safety

Mountain lions are opportunistic predators, meaning they don’t know when their next meal will happen, and will often attempt to take prey when it presents itself. A lion may perceive a pet as prey. To keep pets safe, owners are strongly encouraged to follow these safety tips:

– Keep your pets on a leash.

– Watch the pets’ behavior, since they may sense the lion before you can see them.

– 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 outside if possible.

Homeowner safety

By nature, mountain lions are shy and will make every effort to avoid contact with humans. Homeowners can do several things to make it less likely that a mountain lion would pass through or live near their homes and neighborhoods. These include:

– When leaving your house, be aware of your surroundings. Look and listen for signs of wildlife near your house.

– 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 a domestic pet that could be considered prey by a lion.

– Ensure that a lion cannot get under your patio or deck. Secure all sheds – do not leave doors or windows open. These spaces can be a perfect location for a daybed.

– Place covers over window-wells which can also be a place for a lion to use as a daybed.

– Install motion-sensor lights which may discourage wildlife from staying in your yard. Lights can be directed to minimize impact on your neighbors.