A number of mountain lion attacks on dogs have occurred in the Wood River Valley over the last week.
Fish and Game officers received a report on Monday, December 23, about a mountain lion attack on a Labrador retriever on Saturday, December 21, north of Hailey. The homeowner reported letting their dog out about 6:15 a.m. that morning, then shortly after, hearing loud noises in their backyard. They immediately checked and found a mountain lion attacking their dog in the unfenced backyard. Shortly after the homeowner confronted the lion, it let the dog go.
The dog received injuries in the attack, but survived and is back home with its owners.
This is the fifth reported mountain lion attack on dogs in the Wood River Valley over the last week. Three dogs have died due to these attacks.
Mountain lions typically prey on elk and deer, but will opportunistically take other animals when they are present. Elk and mule deer have become year-round residents of the Wood River Valley which is seemingly increasing the number of predators throughout the area.
According to Senior Conservation Officer Brandyn Hurd, “This attack occurred in an area with a known herd of mule deer, which might have brought the lion into close proximity to this neighborhood.”
Residents and visitors to the Wood River Valley are reminded to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings, especially during the early morning and evening hours.
Pet owners should always check the surrounding area before letting their pets outside. If possible, they should accompany them when outside, especially when it’s dark. When walking your pet, keep them on a leash.
Mountain lions can easily jump a 6 foot fence, so don’t assume a fenced backyard is a secure space.
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