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Mountain lion removed from Great Falls home

SPO Kelley and Warden Burton carry a tranquilized mountain lion out of a residence in the 1500 block of 3rd Ave N.
Posted at 11:22 AM, Jul 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 11:35:21-04

GREAT FALLS — The mountain lion has been removed from the residence. FWP said that shortly after wardens arrived, the lion inadvertently broke a window and went into the basement of the home.

Wardens then tranquilized the lion while it was inside the home and removed it. No people were injured during the incident, although the lion was injured by broken glass from the window.

FWP said that policy does not allow for relocating mountain lions, and due to that policy and also because of its injuries, the adult female lion was euthanized shortly after the incident.

Wardens believed the lion was alone, did not have kittens, and was not currently lactating.

The GFPD said that as this incident was wrapping up, the 911 Dispatch Center received a report of a mountain lion sighting along the 800 block of 6th Street SW. Officers and game wardens are trying to find it.

In addition, 911 also received reports of a goat in the GFPD parking lot and a bobcat along Lower River Road.

The GFPD said: "We encourage community members and visitors to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings."

(1st REPORT, 8:32 a.m.) The Great Falls Police Department said on Sunday, July 31, 2022, that officers have a mountain lion cornered under a deck at a residence along the 1500 block of 3rd Avenue North.

Game wardens from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks are headed to the scene to assist in capturing the big cat.

Mountain lion under a deck in Great Falls (July 31, 2022)
Mountain lion under a deck in Great Falls (July 31, 2022)

The GFPD said: "This is an extremely dangerous situation. If you are in this area please stay in your home! If the lion exits the deck space officers may be forced to shoot it."

We will update you as we get more details.

MAY 2022: Mountain lion in Black Eagle
JAN 2022: Mountain lion in Great Falls

The National Park Service provides the following guidelines 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. Make eye contact. If you have small children with you, pick them up if possible so that 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 human standing up is just not the right shape for a lion's prey. Conversely, a person squatting or bending over resembles a four-legged prey animal. In mountain lion country, avoid squatting, crouching or bending over, even when picking up children.
  • Do all you can to 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.
  • Fight back if attacked. A hiker in southern California used a rock to fend off a mountain lion that was attacking his son. Others have fought back successfully with sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools and their bare hands. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal
  • Bear Spray. Carry bear spray with you while hiking. Although it is called “bear” spray, the pepper powder will work on just about any wild or domestic animal that attacks.

Residents should report any possible mountain lion sightings immediately to law enforcement or to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

Video from January 2022:

Mountain lion in Great Falls