On Thursday January 30, Fish and Game officers and local law enforcement were notified of a large mountain lion roaming in the Woodside subdivision in Hailey. Once located, the lion continued to run through many neighborhood yards, before taking refuge under a tree. The officers then attempted to haze the lion using rubber buck shot fired from a shotgun. The lion was not deterred by the hazing.
Due to the close proximity to dense neighborhood housing and public schools the decision to euthanize the lion was made in the interest of public safety of Hailey residents.
The lion was a large adult male, estimated to be four to five years old.
According to Regional Supervisor Craig White, “we became aware of the mountain lion from a Facebook video that was posted earlier today. Knowing that there was a lion in close proximity to local schools, especially as schools were releasing students this afternoon was very concerning to us.”
Since December 5, Fish and Game has received over 60 reports of mountain lion sightings throughout the Wood River Valley.
White noted, “The number of sightings this year is concerning, especially when the reports indicate that the lions are not displaying what we could call normal behavior. Lions are typically shy and active at night, but reports, such as we had today, are of lions that are active during the day. That is not the desired cat behavior.”
Residents are encouraged to report any sightings of mountain lions to the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359, during normal business hours of Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Any incidents where a person must take action to cause the lion to flee or back down, or any attacks by mountain lions on pets or people should be reported immediately to the Magic Valley Regional Office or the Blaine County Sheriff by calling 911 or their non-emergency phone line at (208) 788-5555.