Boise Police and Idaho Fish and Game are on the lookout for a mountain lion spotted in several downtown locations this morning. Boise State University issued an automated phone alert after the animal was sighted on campus, near the Friendship Bridge at 5:57 AM.
Idaho Fish and Game Agent Matt O'Connell also says the animal was seen on the other side of the river, near the intersection of Front and Broadway. O'Connell says police and his department tried to track the animal but were unsuccessful. Boise Police dispatched motorcycle units to the Greenbelt in hopes of finding the mountain lion.
It's thought to be the same animal seen eating a deer carcass in a neighborhood on Boise's east edge Friday night. O'Connell says if officers are able to locate the lion, they'll fire rubber bullets in its direction in hopes of scaring it out of the city.
Evin Oneale with Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game says it’s common for cougars to wander into Boise but they generally aren’t dangerous.
“It’s nothing to fear," he says. "But you need to be a little more aware of the environment around you when you’re out walking or jogging or biking. If you have small pets that you’re taking for a walk along the greenbelt I would keep them close at your side. I would do the same thing with small children. Just keep an eye on them and keep them close by.”
Oneale says mountain lions do sometimes kill pets but there have only been two confirmed reports of attacks on humans in Idaho's history. One was last year near Idaho City when a 10-year old boy surprised a cougar in the woods and came away with some scratches. If you spot a mountain lion or see tracks or other signs, Fish and Game wants to hear about it. Oneale says people should call 465-8465 and give specific location information.