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IDFG confirms one mountain lion sighting in Pocatello area

Idaho Department of Fish and Game said they can confirm one of the reported mountain lion sightings in the Pocatello and Chubbuck areas.

IDFG said they acknowledge and understand the heightened concern that the public has with the frequency of these reports.

Of the eight reports that have come in since the middle of May, one has been confirmed.

The incident happened on May 11, involving a treed mountain lion on Red Hill Trail in Pocatello.

IDFG tranquilized and moved the mountain lion to a remote location in southeast Idaho.

The remaining reports cannot be confirmed due to lack of evidence or possible misidentification.

For example, one person who called in a sighting on Red Hill Trail after a mountain lion had already been removed from the area said they were only about 50 percent sure of its identification.

Another caller mistook a domestic cat on a roof.

There have also been postings of supposed mountain lion tracks on social media, that when investigated, were too washed out to properly identify of were clearly that of a large dog or coyote.

IDFG have released some tips and other facts on the recent mountain lion reports.

Reports and Findings

After the male mountain was removed on May 11, sightings were reported including one on May 16, and two over the weekend on May 19 and 20. Since May 21, three other sightings were reported in the Pocatello, Chubbuck and Inkom areas. On May 21, the entire Red Hill Trail was surveyed for the evidence of mountain lions by the use of drones and an experienced mountain lion hunter with trained hounds. No evidence was found. IDFG Officers responded to each report and conducted investigations. IDFG installed trail cameras along Red Hill Trail on Monday. No evidence of mountain lions has been detected since.

Reporting Sightings

Adult mountain lions are tawny to grayish in color, weighing 80-200 pounds. The tail, which can range in length from 2.5 to 3 feet has a rope-like appearance and has a black tip Mountain lion tracks are 3 to 4.3 inches long and 3.3 to 4.8 inches wide. They were very round and the bottom pad of the foot has three lobes. One toe is visibly longer than the others and there are no claw marks in the track (see above picture) Before you call IDFG to report a sighting, ask yourself: “Is the animal the right size?” “Right color and tail?” “Am I at least 50 percent sure it’s a mountain lion?”

IDFG said they want the community to know that they are happy to take phone calls for anyone concerned about mountain lions or any other wildlife. They said they will investigate or respond to wildlife calls as appropriate for each situation.

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