Posted: Aug 23, 2013 12:17 PM by MT FWP
Updated: Aug 23, 2013 5:00 PM
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks wants the public to be aware of increased mountain lion activity on the outskirts of urban areas in southwestern Montana.
A handful of recent sightings have been reported near Butte and Bozeman.
This is the time of year when young mountain lions are displaced from their mothers and must learn to fend for themselves. They can then end up in urban settings seeking easy food sources. Most areas surrounding cities and towns also have healthy white-tailed deer populations that may attract lions.
Andrea Jones, FWP Information Officer, said, "A hungry cat may go after a pet, a small child; especially if it's a stressed young animal, it's looking for an easy meal."
If someone encounters a lion, FWP advises the following:
Get big (make yourself appear as big as possible and wave your arms)
Get loud (yell, scream and stomp)
Create a barrier and/or throw objects at the lion
Don't turn your back and DON'T RUN
FWP also urges recreationists to carry bear pepper spray at all times because it's an effective deterrent for mountain lions as well as bears. Also, homeowners are reminded to never feed wildlife which - in addition to being dangerous to those animals - may bring unwanted predators into the neighborhood.
If you see a mountain lion, report it immediately to the nearest FWP office, or call 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668).