A mountain lion that spent a portion of the morning in a tree on the Bruneau Elementary School grounds was later shot and killed.
The cat was spotted about 8:00am and school authorities immediately locked the school down and contacted the Fish and Game Office in Nampa. “We did not have a conservation officer immediately available to respond,” Fish and Game wildlife manager Rick Ward noted. “We made a call to the Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office and requested that Sheriff’s office personnel dispatch the cat as a matter of public safety.”
The cat jumped from the tree and left the school grounds a short time later, but remained in the area. A houndsman was called in and the cat was treed and dispatched about 10:30 less than one-half mile from the school.
At 82 pounds, the adult female lion appeared to be in good body condition although it had suffered a severe break in its lower left front leg at some point in its life. Though fused and healed over, the injury might have limited the cat’s mobility to hunt natural prey.
The control action was warranted given the location and behavior of the cat. “Lion sightings are fairly common in the Bruneau area,” Ward said. “But we were unwilling to take any chance with a cat that seemed comfortable spending time in a school yard.”