A man called Ada County emergency dispatch Thursday afternoon to report that he heard a mountain lion along Boise River near the Hilton Garden Inn, according to the Ada County Sheriff's Office. The caller told authorities he believes the cat was on the south side of the river and moving east.
Police and Idaho Fish & Game officials are searching the area but have not seen or heard the cat. They were searching for a cougar along the Greenbelt east of Veterans Memorial Parkway Thursday morning.
A bicyclist riding on the Greenbelt called police at about 6:50 a.m., after getting a glimpse of a mountain lion on the path, an Ada County dispatcher said. The cat was on the north side of the river and walking west.
Reports of cougar sightings along the Greenbelt began Wednesday, with the first call coming in just before 10 a.m. Another person called Fish and Game officials later, reporting that she saw a mountain lion near the Glenwood Bridge just before 9 a.m. Wednesday. She said the animal was heading east.
There have been at least five mountain lions killed in the Boise area since 2004. Earlier this year, Boise police shot and killed a 2-year-old female cougar that had been making herself comfortable near the Boise State campus. In September last year, a cat was killed in the parking lot of Boise's Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center.
It's not uncommon for mountain lions to follow a river or irrigation canal into residential areas, but they usually move on.
If you see a cougar, don't run. Here's what you should, according to sheriff's officials:
- STOP. Back away slowly if you can do so safely. Running may stimulate a mountain lions instinct to chase and attack. Face the mountain lion, stand upright and maintain eye contact.
- DO NOT APPROACH A MOUNTAIN LION, especially one that is feeding or with kittens. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
- STAY CALM. Talk to it in a calm, yet firm voice.
- DO ALL YOU CAN TO APPEAR LARGER. Raise your arms. Open your jacket if youre wearing one. If you have small children with you, protect them by picking them up so they wont panic and run.