With a policy that does not allow for relocation, you can probably anticipate that this story does not end well.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reports that yesterday (Sunday), game wardens responded to a call in Great Falls from distraught homeowners about a mountain lion that had sought refuge under the home's deck. This was not an off-the-grid rural home in the "vicinity" of Great Falls. It was a residential area within the city limits.
With temperatures approaching 100 degrees in Great Falls on Sunday, perhaps the blistering heat had something to do with its behavior, and here was a cool, dark, shady respite.
When Montana FWP wardens arrived, the lion was becoming frightened and agitated. In an effort to escape from under the deck, it broke a basement window and created an ill-fated escape route from the ground-level commotion. The broken glass also caused some injuries to the lion.
Wardens entered the basement, where they tranquilized the lion and got it out of the home. FWP reported that it was a female adult, by herself with nothing to indicate that she might be a mama with youngsters nearby.
As we pointed out at the beginning, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks does not have a policy that allows efforts to relocate lions. Coupled with her injuries from the broken glass, sadly, the decision was made to have her euthanized.
While they are solitary creatures who typically try to avoid human interaction, everybody in Montana knows that mountain lion sightings in urban areas are not some freakishly rare occurrence, particularly in western and central Montana. And they can be dangerous encounters.
FWP asks that if you encounter a lion within city limits and/or near a residential area, please contact them or local law enforcement.
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