Jan. 28–A mountain lion attacked two dogs Monday afternoon in the Boise Foothills in an incident Fish and Game officials say is alarming because of the boldness of the cat.
The attack occurred at about 2 p.m. along the Corrals Trail off Bogus Basin Road. A Boise man was riding his mountain bike just west of the Hard Guy Trail junction when he heard a yelp from one of his dogs (a Husky mix and pit bull terrier mix), who were trailing behind him. Scroll to bottom of story for a satellite map of the attack location
According to a news release from Fish and Game, the man turned and saw a mountain lion spring from the brush and attack one of his dogs. The man, who is in his 20s, began throwing rocks at the lion and yelling at it, but instead of running off, the cat then attacked the other dog.
The man struck the mountain lion in the head with a larger rock, picked up one of his dogs and rode down the trail. He found his other dog waiting for him at his car. The man called 911 to report the attack.
Both dogs are expected to survive.
Fish and Game officers and Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene but were unable to find the mountain lion. Tracking dogs picked up the lion’s scent later in the afternoon and followed it for a half-mile before losing it. The search was called off at 8:30 p.m.
Officials planned to kill the mountain lion based on its aggressive behavior around humans and the fact the mountain biker described the cat at emaciated, suggesting the animal might not be hunting effectively on its own.
“In years past, we’ve had lion attacks on domestic pets in the foothills and taken no action against the offending cat,” Fish and Game conservation educator Evin Oneale said in the release. “But this situation is different. When the man approached the cat, it did not react normally; it stood its ground and did not run off as we would expect.”
However, the search for the mountain lion won’t continue unless the animal is spotted again.
Warning signs have been posted at the Corrals and Miller Gulch trailheads to alert people to the mountain lion sighting. Dog owners are urged to keep all pets on a leash in that area.
Anyone who sees a mountain lion should immediately report the sighting by calling the Ada County sheriff’s non-emergency dispatch at 208-377-6790. Lion sightings also can be reported to the Fish and Game Southwest Region Office in Nampa at 208-465-8465.
While mountain lion sightings — and attacks on dogs — are relatively rare in Boise and the surrounding areas, they’re not unheard of. A couple of sightings were reported in Southeast Boise last fall, and one dog was killed and another injured by a lion during an attack in a Surprise Valley yard last May.