Baby mountain lion shot and killed just off Curtis Road in Boise
Idaho Fish and Game officials say it was the right move for an Ada County Sheriff’s deputy to shoot and kill a juvenile mountain lion in the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center Parking lot early Thursday morning.
District Conservation Officer Bill London said Thursday he was pretty sure the lion was the same one that was spotted over the past several weeks by the Boise River near Julia Davis Park and East Boise Avenue, which was evidence the mountain lion was becoming “habituated” to an urban environment.
“It wasn’t showing that fear of people,” most wild animals do that find themselves in an urban environment and was developing into a threat to public safety, London said.
The deputy killed the mountain lion “professionally, humanely, and correctly,” London said.
Fish and Game officials estimate the male mountain lion to be between 1 and 2 years old and weigh about 60 pounds.
The mountain lion was first spotted around midnight near the Emerald Lanes bowling alley near Emerald /Orchard street neighborhood and then a short time later in the St. Al’s parking lot off Curtis Road, according to Boise police. The mountain lion was seen a third time in the same area around 3 a.m.
Boise police and Ada County Sheriff’s deputies were looking for the mountain lion when they were contacted by a security guard around 3:15 a.m. who told dispatchers it was walking on the grounds of St. Al’s.
Officers in the area eventually found and cornered the mountain lion against a fence in the hospital grounds parking lot near the 184 Connector around 3:30 a.m.
The deputy who located the lion said it was crouched near some shrubbery and appeared ready to pounce when he shot it twice, according to reports.
The lion died instantly, officials said.
Idaho Fish and Game officials removed the mountain lion from the property. A necropsy will be done on the lion later Thursday.
There have been several mountain lion sightings in Ada County over the past several weeks, including at least two in Kuna last month, one near Julia Davis Park in Boise on Sept. 5, and one near the Boise River near East Boise Avenue and East Burgeson Street on Aug. 31.
London said he did not think the lion shot Thursday was the same lion as the one seen in Kuna. There have not been any mountain lion sightings in Kuna for several weeks and officials say it likely moved into regular habitat in the desert south of town.
It is not ucommon for mountain lions to follow bodies of water, like the Boise River or canals, into an urban setting at night. Generally, those animals leave without incident, officials say.