Mountain lion killed after fatally attacking pet dog

Posted at 1:31 PM, Jan 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-05 21:25:07-05

CASCADE, Idaho — An adult male mountain lion was killed by a hunter after it attacked and partially consumed a domestic dog at a residence a few miles south of Cascade, according to Idaho Fish and Game officials. The attack occurred late Friday night, January 3rd.

"The following morning, remains of the shepherd mix were found cached behind the owner’s residence by a neighbor, who alerted the homeowner and called the Valley County Sheriff’s Office," IDFG stated in a press release. "Fish and Game officers Marshall Haynes and Chris Rowley responded to the incident with a houndsman and a local hunter with a valid mountain lion tag."

RELATED: Five mountain lion attacked reported in Wood River Valley

Early in the investigation, a lion was spooked from a day bed a short distance from the cached dog. Hounds quickly treed the lion, which was then killed by the hunter. A quick field examination revealed nothing unusual -- a healthy, younger adult male lion with a few porcupine quills in its muzzle and head region. Porcupines are a target prey species for lions, and quills are a common byproduct of those encounters.

The incident comes just days after a dog was attacked and killed by a lion on New Year’s Eve at a residence along Callendar Road east of Highway 55. That home is about a mile from the January 3rd attack site, and the lion or lions responsible for that attack were never found. It is unclear whether the two attacks were carried out by the same lion.

Mountain lions are common along the timbered edges of Long Valley, but rarely seen. They are content to live their lives in the shadows and generally avoid people. In the rare instance where a lion chooses to target domestic pets as a food source, the risk to human safety is heightened, a situation that Idaho Fish and Game takes very seriously.

All of Idaho is mountain lion country. Learn more about Idaho’s largest wild cat here: Living with Mountain Lions.

Learn more about personal and pet safety in lion country here: Safety Tips in Lion Country