WATCH: Mountain lion caught falling from tree after being tranquilized in Pocatello - East Idaho News

WATCH: Mountain lion caught falling from tree after being tranquilized in Pocatello

  Published at  | Updated at
Video of the Mountain Lion falling and being caught after being tranquilized. | Pocatello Police Department

POCATELLO — A mountain lion was captured by local authorities Thursday after being tranquilized in a tree in a Pocatello neighborhood.

No people or pets were injured by the animal before it was tranquilized, police said. The mountain lion was returned to the mountains outside of Pocatello in a remote area.

“It is always a good ending to the story when we can remove wildlife species from conflict with people and release them to the wild where they belong and where they’re gonna be the happiest,” said Jennifer Jackson, regional communications manager with the Southeast region for Idaho Fish and Game.

Jackson said it’s likely this was the same cat that was reported to be in Chubbuck during the early morning hours of Wednesday, April 17.

Thursday’s call came in to the Pocatello Police Department at 6:56 a.m. warning a mountain lion had been seen in a tree on Roundup Circle just off of Kinghorn Road, about two blocks from O.K. Ward Park. Three officers were dispatched to the scene accompanied by around five Idaho Fish and Game employees.

After the call came in, the animal moved to Sierra Drive, where it climbed up a tree in someone’s backyard after it was startled by a neighborhood dog. Fish and Game identified the animal as a young adult male, meaning it was at least 18 months old.

At 8:32 a.m. a member of the Fish and Game immobilization team shot the mountain lion with a tranquilizer dart. A group of employees and a police officer managed to catch the 90-pound animal with a tarp to avoid injury as if fell out of the tree.

Many Pocatello and Chubbuck neighborhoods are built in urban-wildland areas, resulting in animals moving through town. Jackson said this mountain lion was likely seeking prey like urban deer, marmots or even pets.

While Jackson said mountain lion sightings in town aren’t frequent, they do happen. PPD Lt. Vanderhoff said if anyone sees a mountain lion in the city, they should stay away from it and call the police and fish and game.

“Don’t mess with them, just leave them be. A lot of times they’ll just move through town and head into the hills and leave you alone because they don’t want to be around us more than we want to be around them,” Vanderhoff said.