A large male mountain lion was killed on Thursday, Jan. 30, in the Woodside subdivision of Hailey. It’s the second shot by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in the Wood River Valley this winter.
According to a press release from the department, its officers and local law enforcement were notified in the afternoon of a lion roaming in the neighborhood. 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, the release stated.
“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 department stated.
The lion was estimated to be 4-5 years old.
“We became aware of the mountain lion from a Facebook video that was posted earlier today,” Regional Supervisor Craig White said Thursday. “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 Dec. 5, Fish and Game has received over 60 reports of mountain lion sightings throughout the Wood River Valley. Fish and Game shot and killed another lion in the Warm Springs area of Ketchum on Dec. 20 after a pair of residents reported that their dogs had been killed.
“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,” White said. “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 through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Any incidents in which 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 its nonemergency phone line at 208-788-5555.