Add the Nampa area to the list of places where people have reported cougar sightings this fall.
A man walking his dog along a canal just off 11th Avenue North and the Ridgecrest Golf Course called Nampa police just after 8 a.m. Monday to report he saw a mountain lion following them.
Officers with Nampa Police and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are now in the area looking for a cougar.
Nampa Police Sgt. Tim Randall said employees at the golf course told police they have seen some atypical animal tracks in the sandtraps over the past few days. While there are foxes, coyotes and other animals in the area, the man who called in the report said he was pretty sure he saw a cougar, according to police reports. The golf course is just west of the Idaho Center and north of Interstate 84.
There have been at least half a dozen reports of a cougar along the Greenbelt in Boise and Garden City since the beginning of the month including a report where a cougar jumped over a fence and into the backyard of a home near Glenwood Street, where it attacked a dog. The dog was injured but survived.
Police and Fish and Game officials have searched the area numerous times and set a few traps but have not yet been able to find a cougar in the Boise area.
It's not uncommon for mountain lions to pass through Boise and Garden City near the Boise River, said Evin Oneale, a regional conservation educator with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The problems occur when they begin to see the cities as a good home and source of food.
The sheer number of reports would has led to "some suspicion that there's more than one animal," Oneale said last week. But very little is known about the animal's - or animals' - characteristics, he said, so there's no certainty. Wildlife experts believe this mountain lion seen in the Boise area is young - about 2 years old - and should weigh about 80 pounds, Oneale said.
People who see a mountain lion should call Fish and Game at (208) 465-8465 or their local law enforcement agencies.