Mountain lions sightings continue throughout the Wood River Valley, caution advised

By Terry Thompson, Regional Communications Manager

Mountain lion sightings are increasing in the communities of Ketchum and Sun Valley in the Wood River Valley.
During late April and in May, multiple sightings of mountain lions have been reported by residents of Ketchum and Sun Valley. Most of the reports are of a female lion with two kittens, but some reports are of a single adult lion. Most reports have been sightings in neighborhoods within city limits. Some reports include sightings of lions during daylight hours, which is not typical behavior.

Throughout this time there have been no reports of conflicts between the lions and people or pets.

A young mountain lion takes refuge in a backyard tree in Ketchum.

To ensure that chances of conflict are minimized, residents are encouraged to be vigilant of their surroundings when engaged in outside activities. Parents should supervise the children when playing outside. Pet owners should keep their pets on leash when out walking, both in neighborhoods and on area trails.

Personal safety

Wildlife managers agree that if a person is in close proximity to a lion, meaning they see it, they should:

  • NEVER run away from a mountain lion. The lion’s instinct is to chase and ultimately catch what they perceive as a potential prey.
  • NEVER turn your back on a lion. Always face them while making yourself look as large as you can. Yell, but don’t scream. A high-pitched scream may mimic the sound of a wounded animal.
  • SLOWLY back away while maintaining eye contact with the lion.
  • Safety equipment you may choose to carry could include bear spray, a noise device, like an air horn, and if you walk in the dark, a very bright flashlight.
  • If you are attacked, fight back!

Reporting mountain lion sightings and encounters

Wood River Valley residents and visitors should immediately report any encounter that results in an attack to the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359 during business hours, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday. If after hours, reports can also be made to the Blaine County Sheriff at (208) 788-5555.

Mountain lion sightings and observations should be reported to the Fish and Game, Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359.

Sam Wermut

Sam Wermut

Chairman, Wildlife Smart Community