The Journal Gazette
Sunday, September 12, 2021 1:00 am


Mountain lions spotted in Idaho raise questions

Staff, wire services

Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials received multiple reports of mountain lion sightings northwest of Boise, prompting questions about what drew the cats to the area.

In a news release, officials said two doorbell cameras recorded footage of a mountain lion Aug. 20. Fish and Game spokesperson Roger Phillips said a third, in-person sighting was reported the next day.

Phillips said mountain lions are definitely present in the Boise area, but they tend to keep to themselves.

“Mountain lions tend to be nocturnal and are pretty good at not being seen, and a basic rule of the thumb is where you have deer in southern Idaho chances are good you have mountain lions, too,” he said in an email. “We occasionally get reports of mountain lions in and around the Treasure Valley, but they tend to be more common in winter.”

Some residents questioned if this year's drought pushed animals closer to city limits. Phillips said the drought could have been a factor but likely not the driving force behind the mountain lion's appearance in the Boise suburb.

“It's true that wildlife go where there's water, but there's still water available outside of city limits,” he said.

It's possible that mountain lions have frequented the area in the past without widespread surveillance systems such as doorbell cameras to see their movements.

“The fact that both reports were from surveillance cameras, and not first-hand observations from people, leads us to believe this is more a case of improved technology over more cats in the area,” Phillips said.

JG calling for more recreation experiences

Fishing and hunting are enjoyed by young and old, male and female, but that is not the only pastime for residents of northeast Indiana. Bird watching, hiking, camping and all manner of sports activities are done daily. The Journal Gazette would like to showcase all manner of recreational activities on the weekly Recreation page.

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