Fish and Game uses non-lethal hazing to move a mountain lion in Ketchum

By Terry Thompson, Regional Communications Manager
Thursday, January 9, 2020 – 6:15 PM MST

A large male mountain lion was hazed, using non-lethal methods, from the backyard of a home in Ketchum.

Fish and Game received reports on Wednesday January 8 of a mountain lion laying near the backyard of a home in south Ketchum. After monitoring the situation, the lion continued to remain near the home in the backyard, prompting officers on January 9 to make the decision to use non-lethal means to force the lion to move.

A large male mountain lion was found using a day-bed in the backyard of a home in south Ketchum.

According to Regional Conservation Officer Josh Royse the large male mountain lion was becoming too comfortable living in the urban environment of town and needed to be encouraged to move on. “We are concerned with what appears to be increasing situations of lions becoming less fearful of humans,” according to Royse, “when lions don’t react as we would expect them to, there will be times we need to take actions like we did today.”

The officers used shotguns with non-lethal rubber slugs and buck shot.

“We want the lion to associate a negative and somewhat painful interaction if they choose to stay within our local communities among people and pets” stated Royse, “we hope that by using non-lethal methods that we can move these urban mountain lions out into the mountains surrounding the Wood River Valley.”

Residents are encouraged to report any sightings of mountain lions to the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359, during normal business hours of Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Any incidents where a person must take action to cause the lion to flee or back down, or any attacks by mountain lions on pets or people should be reported immediately to the Magic Valley Regional Office or the Blaine County Sheriff by calling 911 or their non-emergency phone line at (208) 788-5555.

Sam Wermut

Sam Wermut

Chairman, Wildlife Smart Community