Idaho Fish and Game / Mike Demick (Creative Commons)
A mountain lion in a tree. (May 2017)
As of Monday, April 2, 2018
ELK CITY [Ed's Note: This post has been corrected. See the correction below. -ao]
Jeff Fromel, who has lived 12 years on upper Main Street in Elk City, told the Free Press Monday, March 26, he had never seen a mountain lion there before. Until the night before, when one was out behind his place.
“When we saw it, it looked like it was headed toward another property,” Fromel said. “Nobody lives up there, but a friend of ours has livestock up there. So I called them, and let them know. … It’s the first time I’ve seen a mountain lion here, but we’ve had bears come down. Two years ago, we had a bear in our back yard. First time I’ve seen a cat here though.”
Fromel said he’d have shot it if he’d had a tag, but refrained out of concern for the hunting laws.
In 2016, IDFG published a https://idfg.idah...">news release about an encounter between a family camping east of Rexburg and a mountain lion, in which the mountain lion attempted to drag a young girl away from a campfire. According to the release, the mountain lion fled when the family yelled at it, and, "according to the family, the child was physically unharmed, except for a few scratches." Therefore, the Free Press has removed an inaccurate statement of Idaho's record of "lion versus human problems."
We regret the error. -ao
Idaho Department of Fish and Game district conservation officer George Fischer told the Free Press that mountain lions are sometimes seen in rural Idaho, near small towns and clusters of houses – and more so when people tolerate or feed deer. Mountain lion sightings have made news somewhat frequently during the past year, prompting multiple IDFG news releases.
“If you feed birds, a hawk is going to show up, and if you feed deer, you’re going to have a lion show up,” Fischer said. “They mainly eat deer…but if somebody is freaked out by a lion that’s threatening their cat or their dog or their livestock, by all means – make sure it’s a safe shot. Put it down and call us right away.”
The IDFG Clearwater Region office can be reached at 208-799-5010.
Mountain Lion Sightings Serve as Reminder to Use Caution
In a May 2017 news release, Idaho Fish and Game urged homeowners to follow these precautions to discourage wild animals, including mountain lions, from exploring their property:
• Do not attract wildlife, especially deer, into your yard by feeding them. Lions will be attracted to these prey animals.
• Landscape or remove vegetation that could provide hiding places for animals. Remove enough so that wildlife cannot enter your yard undetected.
• Roaming pets are easy prey. Bring pets in at night or put them into a kennel.
• Do not leave pet food outside as this may attract lions or other bothersome animals such as raccoons, and skunks that lions prey upon. Food and garbage will also attract bears, another unwanted guest.
• Install outdoor lighting to keep the house perimeter well-lit at night - especially along walkways - to keep any approaching mountain lions visible.
• If practical, secure livestock in enclosed sheds or barns at night.
• Closely supervise children whenever they play outdoors, particularly in early morning and evening hours. Talk with children about lions and teach them what do if they meet one.
• Catching a glimpse of a mountain lion can be an exciting experience. Enjoy viewing them from a distance and give them adequate space. According to research, 17 human fatalities due to lions have been recorded in the past 118 years in the North America. Only one injury has been recorded in Idaho in the past 20 years.