Mountain lion catches dog on hot spring visit

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Officials from the Idaho Fish and Game Department are warning pet owners to be careful after a mountain lion takes a family’s dog while they are visiting a popular tourist spot.

The family in southern Idaho were visiting the Wild Rose Hot Springs near Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve on the evening of November 5 when a mountain lion attacked and fled with one of their cubs dogs, according to Idaho Fish and Game.

The dog has not been found.

Mountain lions generally avoid people, but they can be attracted to pets or other small animals that they consider prey, according to the state agency. Officials have warned anyone in the area to exercise caution, especially in the early morning and evening. They also said pet owners should keep their pets on a leash and watch their behavior because they may smell a mountain lion first.

A mountain lion attacked and left with a family’s small dog.
(iStock)

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Wildcats have been seen year round almost across the state, according to Idaho Fish and Game. The Mountain Lion Foundation, a nonprofit conservation group, estimates that there could be as many as 2,000 mountain lions in Idaho.

These types of incidents are not unheard of in Idaho and other areas where mountain lions live. In January, a hunter shot dead a mountain lion after attacking and partially eating a pet dog in Valley County, Idaho, Fox News reported.

Wildcats have been seen year round almost across the state, according to Idaho Fish and Game. (iStock)

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For anyone encountering a mountain lion, Idaho Fish and Game shared this advice: never run away from a mountain lion, as their instinct is to hunt for prey. Also, never turn your back on a mountain lion.

Instead, the agency says you need to face them, make yourself as tall as possible, scream loudly but don’t yell and slowly back away while maintaining eye contact with the animal.

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If a mountain lion attacks, retaliate, recommends the agency. They also said they wore safety equipment like bear spray, a horn and a “very bright” flashlight if they walked in the dark.

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