Mountai Lions and dogs

Mountai Lions and dogs

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
Mountain lions typically prey on deer and elk, as well as small animals such as rabbits and hares. The Wood River Valley has many resident deer and elk living in close proximity to neighborhoods, which increases the chances of mountain lions coming into local neighborhoods in search of food. Lions are opportunistic predators, meaning they may prey on whatever they encounter, which can include pets.

Residents are strongly encouraged to not leave their pets outdoors unattended.

Wood River Valley residents and visitors are cautioned to be aware of potential encounters with wildlife, especially mountain lions, during evening or early morning hours.

How to be safe around your own home

Do not feed pets outside. Pet food or their dishes left outside can also attract other small wild animals which can bring more prey into your neighborhood for lions to pursue.

If you encounter a mountain lion, you should follow these rules to stay safe:

- Stay calm. Either hold your ground or back away slowly. Do not turn your back on the lion.

- Do NOT run. Running may stimulate its natural instinct to chase.

- Do not approach a lion, especially one that is feeding or has kittens.

- Never crouch down or bend over. Make yourself appear as big as possible. Aggressively wave your arms.

- Make loud sounds that do not sound like those made by prey.

If attacked, fight back! It’s critical to protect your neck and throat.

For more information about how to stay safe in lion country please visit the Idaho Department of Fish and Game website and search for “Living with Mountain Lions”.

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