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Rattlesnake mountain lion euthanized

By Will Wadley, KECI Weekend Anchor, wwadley@keci.com
Published On: Feb 13 2014 05:01:30 PM MST
Updated On: Feb 13 2014 06:18:37 PM MST
mountain lion
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials had to put down a mountain lion near Missoula on Thursday they say was roaming in an area dangerously close to where children play.

The big cat was captured up the Rattlesnake canyon at a home off Brookside Way.

Officials tell us several callers reported seeing the cat over the past few days prowling around the neighborhood.

Trackers were able to locate the mountain lion under a porch. They say it was hunting house cats.

"Sadly, it was decided to put it down, said FWP’s Jamie Jonkel. “It wasn't malnourished, but was only about 50 pounds. It was definitely hunting house cats, and working in an area where there were a lot of kids."

Jonkel says the mountain lion population has been on an upswing over the past few years, but he expects it to be on a decline soon, following a natural cycle.