Mountain Lion

A family dog was apparently attacked and killed by a mountain lion Thursday evening near Wild Rose Natural Hot Springs east of Carey, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game reported Friday.

“While in the hot springs with their small dogs nearby, a mountain lion grabbed a family dog … which was not found,” the department said in a press release.

The incident marked the first reported mountain lion attack on a domestic animal this fall in Blaine County. On Aug. 25, a mountain lion killed a horse west of Hailey, but Fish and Game officers were unable to trap the cat.

The department is asking Blaine County residents to be vigilant of their surroundings, particularly during early morning and evening hours.

“Mountain lions are typically shy animals and avoid people, but they have been known to be attracted by small animals or pets that they perceive as potential prey,” Fish and Game stated.

The department is offering the following tips to pet owners to avoid conflicts with the opportunistic predators:

• Keep your pets on a leash.

• Watch your pets’ behavior, since they may sense the lion before you can actually see them.

• Do not feed your pet outside or leave their food dishes outside. Mountain lions are not typically attracted by pet food, but the food could attract other wildlife that lions prey upon.

• Before letting your pet outside, turn on lights, make noise and look to ensure the yard is clear of wildlife. Do not assume that a privacy fence will exclude a mountain lion from your yard.

• Accompany your pet outside if possible.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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