Mountain Lion Seen in Multiple Hailey Neighborhoods Later Euthanized
HAILEY, Idaho (KLIX)-A mountain lion seen running through multiple neighborhoods in the Wood River Valley had to be put down after hazing had no impact on the animal.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game announced Thursday the cougar had been spotted running through the Woodside subdivision Thursday afternoon. The Hailey Police Department sent out notice on social media a little after 3 p.m. warning residents of a mountain lion being sighted in the area and had been there for about four hours.
Once local law enforcement and Fish and Game officers found the animal hiding under a tree they tried to haze the animal with rubber buck shot, but it didn't work. It was decided for the safety of the public to euthanize the lion because it was so close to homes and schools.
According to Regional Supervisor Craig White, “we became aware of the mountain lion from a Facebook video that was posted earlier today. Knowing that there was a lion in close proximity to local schools, especially as schools were releasing students this afternoon was very concerning to us.”
A video was posted to social media that caught a cougar on camera near what appears to be Friedman Memorial Airport; Fish and Game says it cannot positively say it was the same animal that had to be euthanized. Fish and Game Regional Communications Manager Terry Thompson told News Radio 1310 that a mountain lion sighting had also been reported near a Bellevue school earlier in the day, but couldn't say it was the same one running through Hailey. He said officers were posted around the school as a precaution.
White said in a statement that the recent sightings is concerning as the animals are not displaying normal behavior. Since early December, Fish and Game says it has had more than 60 reports of mountain lions in the Wood River Valley.