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Living in Lion Country
Headlines - Region 4

Monday, August 28, 2006

Recent sightings of a mountain lion in Lewistown should serve as a reminder to residents and visitors that anywhere in Montana is lion country.

            In the past month, Fish, Wildlife and Parks has received several reports of a young lion on the southeast edge of Lewistown in central Montana.

            That’s not unusual. Deer are the favorite food of lions, and Lewistown, like some other areas of the state, has an abundant deer population.

            As a rule, FWP does not tolerate mountain lions in urban areas, due to public safety. Because lions are territorial, subadults sometimes move into marginal, non-typical habitats, such as urban areas, looking for an unoccupied territory. When that happens, the animal is removed from the population.

            FWP offers a list of simple precautions for those who live in occupied lion habitat:

  • Closely supervise your children when they are playing outdoors. Make sure that children are home before dusk and not outside before dawn.
  • Landscape or remove vegetation to eliminate hiding cover for lions. You do not have to remove all vegetation, but enough so that a lion cannot come into your yard undetected.
  • Do not attract wildlife, especially deer, into your yard by feeding or salting them. Lions will be attracted to these prey animals.
  • Roaming pets are easy prey. Bring pets in at night or put them into a kennel. And do not leave pet food outside as this may attract young lions or small animals that lions prey upon.

For more information on living with wildlife call any FWP office or visit the Wild Things link on the FWP page: www.fwp.mt.gov.