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Increased mountain lion reports in Wood River Valley; Here is how to stay safe

Posted at 5:08 PM, Dec 19, 2022

IDAHO — Winter months can affect many parts of Idaho in different ways.

Colder weather can cause wildlife to move to more populated areas and Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) is seeing an uptick in mountain lion reports in Wood River Valley communities.

“This time of year, it’s snowy in the mountains. We’ve got all of our deer and elk and prong horn are moving down onto winter range. They are on winter range right now and that a lot of times brings them into town or close to town and the mountain lions follow the prey,” said Regional Wildlife Biologist, Sierra Robatcek.

Mountain lions can be seen under porches in areas where more wildlife frequents. Many residents and local officials of the wood river valley understand the area they live in and want to make sure Idahoans are informed if they encounter predators like this.

“We are encouraging everyone to be vigilant, to be aware of the risk that mountain lions present” said Neil Bradshaw, mayor of Ketchum. “We are blessed to have so much wildlife around us, but we are sharing the land with them, and we need to be respectful of their practices and be vigilant in everything we do.”

If you do see a mountain lion, don't run and don't turn your back. Predator instincts can kick in and they will chase. Making loud noises and looking big can help scare off mountain lions. Carrying bear spray is always a safe route if you hike or are around wildlife commonly.

“The best thing people can do is be aware of their surroundings. Just know that there are lions around. Don’t be walking around or running with your ear buds in and your music on. You know, look around. Look behind you every once in a while. Just know where things are around you,” said Robatcek.

For ways to stay safe and who to contact if you encounter a mountain lion, click here.