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Hounds ready to corner mountain lions in Missoula

By KECI Staff
Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:17:06 AM MST
Updated On: Oct 15 2013 05:16:31 AM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Update 10/15 5:14 a.m. :

Officers say another mountain lion was sighted this morning in the area of Merriweather street, off of Upper Miller Creek Road.  It was seen running full speed.  The call came in Tuesday morning at about 2:51.  As of 4:30 this morning, no mountain lions have been treed yet.

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10/14/2013

Caution is on everyone's mind at Cold Springs Elementary School in south Missoula.  At least two mountain lions have been spotted just 2 blocks from the school where children line up for the bus and play in the playground.    

The sightings were near the 2600-block of Arcadia street behind Walmart.  People also have reported sightings up Gharrett Avenue and in the Miller Creek area.

Missoula mother Tonya Hauser tells us, "It is scary to know they are right here in your neighborhood.  I drive my daughter to the school bus."

Now, two experienced hounds are staged in the area.  Spinner and Willy have treed well over 100 mountain lions.  They are raring to tree the lions that are frightening residents and have killed livestock and house cats over the last 3 to 4 weeks in southern Missoula.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks specialists say once mountain lions start to kill something, they aren't going to stop.

"When they go to kill something, they are not going to not kill it.  So they are a very effective predator.  We don't want to take a chance on somebody getting hurt or killed by a mountain lion," said Bob Wiesner of FWP.

They say a high number of deer are drawing them in.

"In recent years, we have had an influx of deer into the edges of Missoula and in Missoula proper.  Deer represent groceries to mountain lions.  So, lions are following deer into the city," said Wiesner.

So far, agents with Fish, Wildlife and Parks have euthanized two mountain lions.  An area homeowner has killed one as well. FWP will euthanize any mountain lions the hounds corner.

State wildlife managers urge you to call immediately if you see a mountain lion.  Spinner and Willy can only catch scent for about an hour and a half. The number is 240-3296.

Mountain lions are most active at night. You also are asked to put away any type of feed.