A family hoping to relax while visiting an Idaho hot spring recently was horrified when a large mountain lion skulked in and snatched one of their dogs. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said the dog was never found, Newsweek said.
The family said they had been sitting in the hot spring located about 17 miles outside of Carey in southern Idaho last week with their small dog when the attack happened. They told authorities they didn’t hear anything until the dog was taken. The Idaho Fish and Game Department didn’t disclose the breed of dog.
“Anyone who chooses to access this area is encouraged to be vigilant and be aware of their surroundings, especially during early morning and evening hours,” a department spokesperson said. “Mountain lions are typically shy animals and avoid people, but they have been known to be attracted by small animals or pets that they perceive as potential prey.”
The department recommended people keep their pets on a leash in areas where mountain lions live. The large cats live mostly in the Western United States in mountains, forests, deserts, and wetlands, Newsweek said.
The chances of a mountain lion attacking a person are small, but if you do come into contact with one, never turn your back on it or try to run away, the Idaho department said.
“The lion’s instinct is to chase and ultimately catch what they perceive as potential prey. Always face them while making yourself look as large as you can. Yell loudly, but don’t scream. A high-pitched scream may mimic the sound of a wounded animal,” the agency said.
Mountain Lion Stalks Runner for 6 Minutes
Kyle Burgess was on a run in Colorado last month when a mountain lion confronted him on the trail. He uploaded a terrifying video to his Instagram. In the viral video, the lion stalks Burgess for more than six minutes, bluff charging him multiple times.
“I came upon the cubs, and that’s when I obviously pulled out my phone, to take pictures of the wildlife,” Burgess told Good Morning America. “Once I realized it was a mountain lion, she started chasing after me.”
OutThereColorado.com said the stalking cat was likely just protecting her young.
But why didn’t it attack? OutThereColorado said Burgess did everything right.
1. “He didn’t run, he slowly backed away. This can help prevent a charge response from the lion.
2. He maintained eye contact with the lion as much as possible. Something to note is that the lion seems to charge when he turns back to spot the trail showing how important this eye contact is to keep the lion at a distance.
3. He made loud noises to try to scare off the cat. This is one thing he probably could have done more, though the cat seemed undeterred by his yelling.
4. He tried to make himself big. Though this isn’t seen in the first-person video, he references this.
5. He remained calm. Keeping his cool prevented his fear from resulting in a bad decision.”