From Idaho Fish and Game comes this report of a human-cougar-dog incident along Mores Creek south of Idaho City. Score: one dead dog and one dead cougar.
Thursday evening about 8 or 8:30 p.m. a young boy went out with his dad to look for a family pet bird dog that had been missing since the day before.
They were searching in thick sagebrush near their home in a Mores Creek subdivision when the boy heard noises in the brush. Instead of the missing dog he had hoped to find, he came face to face with a young cougar.
The boy ran, stumbled and found the cat close by. The cat took a swipe with its front paw, scratching the youth on the arm and hand. The boy yelled to his father, who fired a round from his 9 mm handgun to scare the cat away. The boy’s wounds were considered minor.
Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers, an off-duty Meridian police officer and a Boise County deputy responded to the incident. With the help of tracking dogs, the officers located the cat, guarding the pet dog it had killed. The officers killed the lion with shots from handguns and a rifle.
The female cat was estimated to be about 50 pounds and a year and a half old.
It is not unusual for young lions to get into trouble after they have left the protection their mother and are learning to survive on their own said Senior Conservation Officer Matt O’Connell.
When a lion has made physical contact with a human, especially in the circumstance of having killed a pet dog, protocol is to kill the animal, he said.
Such events are rare; this the second recorded mountain lion incident involving injury to a human in Idaho. The other involved a 12-year-old boy on the Salmon River in the early 1990s.
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