ADA COUNTY -- The Ada County Sheriff's Office is warning people to be careful after a mountain lion was spotted near popular nature trails in southern Ada County.

The big cat was seen Wednesday in the Hubbard Reservoir Area, not far from the intersection of Hubbard and Stewart roads. Deputies searched the area and did not find the cougar, but did come upon fresh tracks.

Mountain lions have been responsible for a number of attacks on dogs or other pets in the Treasure Valley area in recent years.

However, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game says most encounters between mountain lions and people are brief and nonthreatening.

If you run into a mountain lion, wildlife officers say you should not run, crouch down, or turn your back on the animal. Instead, remain facing the cat and back away slowly, leaving it an escape route.

Residents should never attempt to approach a mountain lion or give it food.

Anyone who spots a cougar in Ada County is encouraged to call dispatch at 208-377-6790.