Pet dog never found after being snatched by mountain lion at hot springs
A family from south Idaho was visiting the Wild Rose Hot Springs near Carey, in south central Idaho, earlier this month when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and grabbed one of the family’s pet dogs, according to Idaho Fish and Game, according to FOX News.
The dog was never found.
After the dog abduction, officials warned anyone in the area to be extra careful, especially in the early morning and evening. In addition, they said pet owners should always have their animals on leashes and keep a watch on them. Dogs can sense if another animal is nearby.
According to Idaho Fish and Game’s November issue of its Wildlife Express Newsletter, mountain lions can be found throughout Idaho, and not just in the mountains. They are the largest wild cat in the state, and one of Idaho’s top predators. The Mountain Lion Foundation, a nonprofit conservation group, estimates there could be as many as 2,000 mountain lions in Idaho.
And although mountain lions usually avoid people, they can be attracted by any type of small animal they perceive as prey.
Unfortunately, this incident wasn’t unusual. In January, a hunter shot a mountain lion after it attacked and partially ate a pet dog in Valley County, Idaho, Fox News previously reported.
So what can you do if you spot a mountain lion while you’re out enjoying nature? The fish and game agency states that the most important thing to remember (although it is instinctive to do so), don’t run away — because they’ll assume you are prey. Also, never turn your back on a mountain lion, stand tall (they are more likely to attack shorter prey), stare it in the eyes and slowly back away.
Another instinctive response may be to scream at it. The agency indicates that’s not a good idea. High pitched screams might sound like an animal. Instead, clap your hands and talk loudly in a forceful, firm voice “Go Away!”