Fish and Game officers in the Wood River Valley received two reports of separate fatal mountain lion attacks on dogs early Wednesday morning, Dec. 18. These were the third and fourth mountain lion attacks on dogs in the area over a period of five days, two of which took place over the prior weekend.
Upon investigation, officers found that a mountain lion attacked a dog in its fenced backyard where it received significant injuries from the attack. The dog survived, but had to be euthanized by a local veterinarian.
Shortly after the first report, Fish and Game officers were notified of a second dog that had been killed as a result of a mountain lion attack within blocks of the first incident.
Fish and Game immediately called for assistance from an individual who owns a hound that could be used to track the lion. Shortly after, the hound was able to locate the lion hiding under a deck, just across the street from the attack. Once located, officers euthanized the lion to ensure public safety.
“The mountain lions living within our local communities seem to be growing more accustomed to hunting in and around neighborhoods,” according to Senior Conservation Officer Clark Shackelford.
He added, “The large number of resident deer and elk are bringing the lions into town, and then the lions, which normally feed on these animals, are also finding that there are other things to prey upon, which unfortunately can include local residents pets.”
Shackelford reminds local residents to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings when outside, especially those with pets.
“If you walk your dog, especially in the early morning, or evening, keep your pet on a leash. Winter is just beginning, and we anticipate that mountain lions will continue to move into the valley over the coming months due to the availability of prey.”
If anyone encounters a mountain lion, there are key strategies to remember; NEVER run, but back away from the lion slowly, and make as much noise as possible.
If you have a significant encounter with a mountain lion please call the Magic Valley Regional Office or local law enforcement immediately.
Magic Valley Regional Office: (208) 324-4359
Blaine County Sheriff: 911 or (208) 788-5555