UPDATE 9:20 a.m. – Charlene Wilkinson just wanted to read the news, not be the news when she picked up the Independent Record off her porch Wednesday morning.
Then she got a call from the Helena Police dispatcher shortly after 7 a.m., telling her to stay inside and move away from the windows because a mountain lion was curled up on her front porch, precisely where she had picked up her newspaper just moments earlier.
“They told me not to even look out the window because I could startle it and it could go through the window,” Wilkinson said, recalling a Townsend mountain lion that did just that. “So I got away from the window and called my son.”
Moments later, Dave Loewen, a game warden with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, shot the year-old mountain lion from the safety of his truck.
Loewen said they initially wanted to dart the lion and capture it, but it was too dangerous to do that in the residential neighborhood.
“I couldn’t get a clean shot, and if I darted it and it didn’t take effect, it would run off. I didn’t want to make a second problem,” Loewen said.
The lion was on the porch in the quiet subdivision just west of the St. Peter’s Group medical building, near the corner of Road Runner and Sand Piper Loop.
Check tomorrow’s Independent Record for more on this story.
Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s Department and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials have located a mountain lion on the 100 block of Sandpiper Loop. Authorities have cornered the lion on a porch of a house and are asking people to stay out of the area and residents to stay in their homes until the lion is darted.