Fish, Wildlife & Parks staff killed a mountain lion this morning as it crouched under a residential deck near Whitefish Stage Road about five miles north of Kalispell.
According to an FWP news release, the lion had been frequenting barns in the residential area and eating cats.
Bear and lion specialist Erik Wenum received calls regarding the lion from landowners in the area Wednesday.
The big cat had been sighted in a barn and was killing barn cats. This morning the lion was seen in another barn, and it ran across the road and under a neighbor’s deck.
The 75-pound, 1½-year-old female lion was crouching under the deck when FWP personnel arrived. A wild-life biologist crawled under the deck and dispatched the lion quickly with a shotgun slug.
Wenum said that it is not uncommon for a young lion to frequent populated areas because lions of this age are not accomplished hunters yet, and they lack an established territory.
He said residents should secure any attractants and keep pets in a kennel or inside at night.
Wenum added that because of public safety concerns, FWP removes lions that frequent populated areas such as the Flathead Valley.
Flathead Valley landowners who encounter lions should call FWP immediately at 752-5501.