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Mountain lion sightings in Billings prompt warning from wildlife officials

MTN News file photo of a mountain lion
Posted at 10:00 AM, Jan 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-22 12:14:09-05

After numerous mountain lion sightings in Billings Heights, including on the roofs of homes, state wildlife officials are offering tips about what to do if you encounter a big cat.

Bob Gibson, a spokesman for the Billings office of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said Friday he has received several calls of sightings around the Lake Hills golf course.

“The mountain lions move through probably more than people realize. We’ve had reportings of mountain lions in Alkali Creek,” Gibson said.

He says that mountain lions are moving farther into city limits for food. Mountain lions need a large amount of fuel to survive the winter, and deer is their meal of choice.

“There are concentrations of deer in the Heights and along the golf course,” said Gibson.

The simple way to prevent mountain lions from roaming around your yard is to make sure items like dog food are picked up and stored inside. Keep your pets indoors during dusk and dawn as mountain lions are more active during these times.

If you come face to face with a mountain lion, never turn your back to run.

“Make oneself as big as possible, open up the coat and go ‘go away, lion, go away, lion,” Gibson said.

Make sure to report all sightings to Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Call the Billings office at 406-247-2940.

This comes just a days after a mountain lion caused quite a commotion by wandering the streets of Great Falls, and was recorded on video in several locations.

FWP: harvested mountain lion was likely the one seen in Great Falls