Rexburg Area Cougar Dead After Attack

A family camping near Rexburg Friday night is safe after law enforcement killed a female mountain lion which had attempted to take their young daughter from their campsite. The Fish and Game account of the incident follows.

By Gregg Losinski, Regional Conservation Educator

A family camping near Green Canyon Hot Springs east of Rexburg, Idaho, saved their four-year-old daughter from being dragged away from their campfire by a mountain lion on the evening of Friday, August 12, 2016.

The family had seen the lion in the vicinity earlier in the day, which in itself is highly unusual. When the cat appeared later in the evening and attempted to snatch the child, the family began yelling at the cougar and it dropped the girl and fled. According to the family, the child was physically unharmed, except for a few scratches.

File photo

File photo

After the incident, the family packed up and took the child to the Eastern Idaho Medical Center in Idaho Falls to be checked over. Idaho Fish and Game Senior Conservation Officer Andrew Sorensen enlisted the aid of local hound hunter Mike Pimentel to immediately attempt to track the lion. At 2:00 AM on the morning of the thirteenth, a young female lion was treed by the hounds a few hundred yards from the camp. The cat was dispatched by deputies from the Madison County Sheriff’s office. Other campers in the area were notified of the ongoing situation.

Cougar sightings are rare, let alone attacks on humans. When lions do attack, records indicate that small children are often the targets. This family showed how vigilance and quick thinking can help avert a tragedy.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Hey! Cougars gotta eat, too!

    Thank goodness the little girl is okay… what a harrowing thing!

  2. Linda Iannuzzi
    Aug 15, 2016, 7:44 am

    It’s appalling that a cat is slaughtered for doing what cougars are supposed to do. The little girl has a few scratches, but the cat (and if it’s a female – probably all of her cubs) die for that. You don’t even know if the slaughtered cougar was the cougar that went after the girl! You probably scared that cat to death, and it would never have approached humans again! But that’s not good enough! Chase it down and KILL IT!!! Is that “campground” the cougar’s home or the people’s home? Everything dies so people can play wherever they want? Who puts a 4 year old to bed in a tent in the wild and walks away?? I’m glad she’s okay, but hunting down and killing that cougar was unnecessary. Even humans who ACTUALLY commit murder allowed to keep living!

    Westerners and Alaskans are so quick to kill wildlife for convenience, commerce, entertainment, spite, covering their ass, and other indefensible reasons. Is it any wonder the populations of wildlife as well as fish and pollinators are crashing around the world?

  3. Yossarian_22
    Aug 15, 2016, 8:37 am

    This is a shame. I hate to see it. I would have hoped that they could relocate the cat. That doesn’t always work, but it should have been tried.

    The bottom line is, when you go out in the woods, it’s not your backyard anymore. There is a line of respect of nature that should be recognized. But you shouldn’t be a milque toast either. Take protective measures. But if you can get out of trouble without killing the natural inhabitants, that would be really appreciated.

  4. Killing the cat is necessary to determine if it has rabies.

    Additionally wild apex predators which have discovered how easy it is to take a human will do it again, and will teach their young to do the same. ((Translation for big city folk: It’s very similar to the predatory criminal problem in dangerous metropolitan neighborhoods with repeat offenders… maybe you can get NYT to write a sympathy story for them?)) Dead predator stops this cycle.

    I’m pleased we still have a very short process of engaging this methodology here in Idaho. In yesteryear the local population would be killing and trapping every cat in the county. So, I’m also pleased we have found a preservationist compromise in modern times.

    Be advised, the cat has many sisters, you will surely meet one of them if you feel the need to sacrifice yourself for their welfare. These cats are numerous, perhaps too numerous due to the human caused unbalance in the ecosystem.

  5. ***SWM Seeks Cougar***

    I am 39 years old, love walks on the beach, holding hands, music and love to cook and psending my girlfirends money. Also seeking cougar attack, please be 50+ years old, good job so you can support me, at least $150K plus as I have expensive tastes. Athletic and fit preferred but at least HWP. Please be DD and Rabies free

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