A state wildlife specialist has killed a mountain lion near Oral Zumwalt Way, possibly resolving several months of cougar sightings in the hills along Missoula’s southern fringe.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks lion specialist Bob Wiesner said the lion was an 18-month-old subadult male weighing about 110 pounds. He was following up on a homeowner’s sighting on Saturday morning and found where the lion had killed a mule deer fawn near some houses in the Miller Creek neighborhood. He was able to track and kill the lion later that day.
“This lion was behaving unnaturally and posed a human safety risk to people at their residences,” said FWP regional wildlife manager Mike Thompson.
FWP issued several warnings about active lions in the Miller Creek area this fall. Game wardens killed three lions there in September.
Mountain lions can rarely be successfully trapped and relocated, as they tend to quickly return to their home territory. They are strict carnivores, and often prey on house pets as well as deer in brushy drainages on the city’s edges.
Anyone seeing a mountain lion in a residential area is asked to report it to law enforcement by calling 9-1-1.
For more information about mountain lion behavior, check out http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/livingWithWildlife/mountainLions/default.html.