Fish and Game Offers New Details on Mountain Lion Killed in Boise

May 22, 2012

Early Tuesday morning a Boise police officer shot and killed a mountain lion on the Boise State campus. Idaho Fish and Game Senior Conservation Officer Matt O’Connell says it’s likely the same cat that was first spotted in an east Boise foothills neighborhood Friday...and seen several times Monday morning near downtown. O’Connell says police responded to calls from Boise State staffers who saw the lion eating from a dumpster near the student union building. He says that’s unusual behavior for this species.

“The cat had kind of crossed the line between normal cat behavior and hanging around in town and kind of becoming habituated to human activities," he says.  "So the Boise PD was actually acting on our behalf. We had given them the OK that if they felt it necessary they should go ahead and kill the cat.”

O’Connell says Fish and Game had hoped the cougar would return to the place it was first sighted near the foothills. Then they could have tranquilized it or driven it into the mountains. But he says capturing it alive in the city would not have been practical. He says Fish and Game is aware there’s a lot of criticism on social media for killing the animal, but he maintains Boise police made the right decision.