On the morning of May 13, an adult male mountain lion was dispatched by a Fish and Game Conservation Officer on the LDS church grounds near 49th S. and Stanfield Lane in Idaho Falls.

The mountain lion was reported by a resident of the area who spotted the animal walking through the neighborhood and quickly called local law enforcement. An IFPD Officer patrolling the area saw the adult lion crossing a road at about 3 a.m. Wednesday morning and was able to corner the lion in the parking lot of a nearby LDS church building before calling a Fish and Game Officer to assist.

Once on scene, the Conservation Officer observed the male lion exhibiting no fear of humans and making no attempt to flee the area, which is not typical mountain lion behavior. “Given the behavior of the mountain lion and the proximity to a highly populated area the decision was made to dispatch the animal,” explains Conservation Officer Devin Skidmore. “This was not a safe place for a lion to be, and human safety is always our number one concern.”

Idaho has an abundant and sustainable mountain lion population, but when lions attack pets, come too close people, or settle in or near communities and homes, it creates a potential public safety hazard. Fish and Game officials are unwilling to take that risk and let mountain lions remain in towns or near residences.

Idaho has never had a recorded incident of a mountain lion killing a person, but two human fatalities by mountain lions occurred in Oregon and Washington in 2018, along with numerous other incidents involving mountain lions in Idaho in recent years.

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