Three young mountain lions have been euthanized in Idaho. On Saturday, December 17th, officers received a call of mountain lions under a deck in Kendrick, Idaho. Earlier this month the IDFG received several calls about smaller mountain lions in and around the above-listed area.
Once on the scene, officers searched the area and found three young mountain lions taking shelter underneath the deck of a nearby house. After a discussion with the area biologist, they decided that the three mountain lions needed to be euthanized.
Mountain lions that become comfortable in an urban setting not only pose a public safety risk, but it’s also difficult and risky to relocate them.
Likewise, the area’s mountain lion population is very healthy. One reason lions stray into towns and neighborhoods is they’re often pushed out of wildlands by dominant cats, typically mature males. As stated above these mountain lions were young, and most likely looking to spend their first winter away from their mother.
A mountain lion released back into the wild is unlikely to fare well in another cat’s territory, and there’s a risk of it returning to populated or adjacent areas and potentially injuring and killing livestock and pets. Because of all these variables officers decided to not take the risk of releasing these cats back into the wild.
Tips for people who might encounter a mountain lion
- Do not run.
- If you are with children, pick them up without bending over.
- Do not turn your back on the lion, crouch down, or try to hide.
- Remain facing the lion and slowly back away. Leave the animal an escape route.
- Try to appear as large as possible — stand on a rock or stump, hold up your arms and stand next to others.
- Shout, wave your arms, and throw objects if the lion does not leave the area.
- Fight back if a mountain lion attacks. Stay on your feet and use sticks, rocks, backpacks, and hands to fight back. Use bear spray if you have it.
- Never approach a mountain lion or offer it food.