WATCH: Mountain Lion Patrols Boise Neighborhood, Doorbell Cameras Show

by Matthew Memrick

An Idaho doorbell camera caught a mountain lion roaming a Boise neighborhood recently.

A mountain lion named Michael by locals was caught on video at 2 a.m. in a Treasure Valley neighborhood. Residents say the mountain lion was on the move for food or water.

Another door camera caught a mountain lion. Both sightings were in the Dry Creek area on Aug. 20. Officials say a person came across another for a third sighting.

Ryan Walrath, regional wildlife manager for the department’s Southwest Region, said Fish and Game said officials could not say if the animal were the same in the videos. He urged residents in the area to remain vigilant.

One neighbor told KTVB that he thought the animal sought chicken as many own fowl in the area.

The community was on alert after seeing the video.

“All of my neighbors are on high alert, so everybody is aware that has kids and dogs. We are going to make sure everything is locked up tight at night,” Chris Samuelson said.

Samuelson said Michael was on his good behavior, but residents hope he does not return.

Residents Concerned

The Ada County Sherriff office tried to dole out comfort on social media.

In one tweet, they relayed information that the Idaho Fish and Game Department doesn’t think Michael is a threat to the community. However, they want to know if anyone sees the mountain lion. Many can reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour running. estimates there are 20,000 to 40,000 mountain lions in the wild. Colorado and California (3,000 to 7,000 approximately) have the highest populations.

Attacks on humans are rare. As populations of people and the big cats rise, the dangers of encounters are present. Lynn Cullens, executive director of the Mountain Lion Foundation, told ABC News in 2019 that less than 20 human deaths in the past 100 years. 

CBS Denver caught a video of an Aurora, Colorado mountain lion on Wednesday. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials shared cautionary tips on confronting the animal.

Officials related that the cats are like deer. They hunt for raccoons, skunks, livestock, and pets. The main idea is to stay calm, keep your eyes on the cat, back away slowly, and appear bigger than you are by raising your arms above your head. 

In California, College of The Redwoods officials warned students and staff about the sighting of three mountain lion cubs.

Hunting Mountain Lions

A former director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab said that less hunting helps keep the animals in their original habitats.  

Dr. Robert Wielgus said that the key to the big cat’s population is to keep hunting in line with population growth. In 2019, Washington state researchers found the mountain lion population growing by 14 percent because hunting was “regulated” to 14 percent. 

“So, basically, what we found was that increased hunting was causing the problems, and decreased hunting solved the problem,” Wielgus said.