NewsGreat Falls News


Possible mountain lion seen in Great Falls (video)

Posted at 10:30 AM, Aug 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-14 15:42:56-04

Several people have reported seeing a mountain in and around Great Falls within the last 24 hours.

Tiffany Dawn Naude’ shared video on Facebook on Sunday evening and wrote: "This is a pretty big mountain lion or bobcat, heading into town from Lower River Road. Didn’t want to get too close to figure out what, but definitely not a regular house cat! Called animal control/FWP and they’re headed out!"

Mike Johnson said that he and several other people also saw it by the river close to Flag Hill (Overlook Park).

We have tried contacting Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to get more information, but have not yet received a response about this incident. We will post an update if we do.

FWP says that if you encounter a mountain lion, the most important thing is to appear as large as possible, so the animal won’t think you’re its prey.

“What we recommend is that people stand up tall, be big,” said Greg Lemon of FWP. “If you’ve got little kids with you, pick the kids up. If you have a jacket on, open up your jacket.”

FWP says it’s rare for a mountain lion to attack. They say it’s best to give it a way to escape, so it can avoid a confrontation. If a lion does attack, Lemon said people should fight back aggressively, which can sometimes stop the animal.

Bear spray can also help deter a mountain lion.

“It affects its eyes, nose and mouth,” Lemon said. “Lions don’t like it any more than bears do.”

More information from FWP about what to do if you encounter a mountain lion:

Do Not Approach a Lion: Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.

Do Not Run from a Lion: Running may stimulate a mountain lion’s instinct to chase. Instead, stand and face the animal. Do not turn your back. Make eye contact. If there are small children nearby, pick them up if possible so they don’t panic and run. Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the mountain lion.

Do Not Crouch Down or Bend Over: A person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a 4-legged prey animal. When in mountain lion country, avoid squatting, crouching or bending over, even when picking up children.

Appear Larger: Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you are wearing one. Again, pick up small children. Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice. The idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not prey and that you may be a danger to it.

Be vocal: Talk calmly and regularly.

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Mountain lion shot and killed in Great Falls

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