Frustration boiling over that mountain lion is still on the loose

Frustration boiling over that mountain lion is still on the loose

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by Karen Zatkulak

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KTVB.COM

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 11:29 AM

BOISE -- Ten mountain lion sightings in three weeks raises concern for the safety of children and pets across the area. It also brings frustration over how the possible predator is being handled.

Idaho Fish and Game officials say there are more serious steps to be taken and they could turn to those measures very soon. It would include setting traps along the Boise River and more expansive manhunts. In fact, one is already planned for Friday morning.

But those living near the Greenbelt say they've had enough waiting and want action.

Thursday morning, authorities were back out looking for the elusive cat, and frightening those who live close to the sightings, like Judy Seraphin.

"I'm angry, I'm angry because I'm scared and I can't even go out in my yard, I drive my car to get my mail and my paper," said Seraphin.

Seraphin lives near the Greenbelt, just around the corner from where two more sightings were reported on Wednesday.

The first sighting of a mountain lion was on Oct. 3 near Expo Idaho. The animal was spotted twice the next day. And two more times less than a week later.

For Seraphin, it's three weeks too long.

"Irritated and wondering why nothing has been done more immediately, that's not a 24-hour campaign, that should have started two or three weeks ago," she said.

We took her concerns to Fish and Game. Spokesman Even Oneale tells us it's a threat they're worried about, but an animal that's simply hard to catch.

"You could put 50 people on the river and scour the brush, and you're looking for an animal that's very quick, very secretive, makes its living by hiding, not an easy animal to find," he said.

Oneale says Fish and Game will team up with volunteers and other departments to physically walk the river banks on Friday looking for the lion.

He says if they can't capture it, they'll turn to more dangerous measures they were hoping to avoid in such an urban setting.

"We'll have to look at trapping the lions, setting out traps to catch the lion if we can't by other means," Oneale said.

Fish and Game tells us their department, as well as local authorities, have been responding to each sighting. But it hasn't been easy for their dogs to track the animal's scent, due to the weather.

It's also hunting season, and Fish and Game says most of their manpower has been tied up there.

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