Mountain lion snatches dog from Boise backyard

Credit: Theresa Palmgren / KTVB

The Surprise Valley neighborhood where the attack happened

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by Justin Corr

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 6:55 PM

Mountain Lion search

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BOISE -- A southeast Boise neighborhood is on alert after a mountain lion attacked two dogs in someone's backyard, killing one. We're also learning that this isn't the first time pets have been attacked in that neighborhood in the past couple weeks.

It happened on South Horseshoe Place in southeast Boise, just below the cliffs. The neighborhood backs up to some huge power lines and undeveloped desert, which Idaho Fish and Game officials say acts like a "wildlife corridor" for foxes, mule deer, and apparently, mountain lions.

"It's definitely scary to think that this huge animal can come into your backyard. And so, you feel a little unsafe," said Loralee Bafford.

Bafford got the shock of a lifetime Tuesday morning, at about 5:30 in her own backyard. It started when she let out her two little yorkies, Buddy and Holly. "I heard this noise, it was just this little yelp. It was real quiet. There wasn't anything else. I just knew something had gotten her."

Bafford grabbed a bat and ran outside. "All of a sudden, just very quickly and quietly, an animal, a huge animal leapt up on the fence."

It then pounced on Buddy.

"It came from my neighbor's yard, and just down on my dog," said Bafford. "My little dog was laying on its back with its legs up. I just started screaming and yelling, and hitting the fence with the bat."

That eventually scared the cat away. Loralee called police, and took Buddy to the vet immediately.

Loralee's daughter, Carissa, showed us the wounds on Buddy. "He has three spots that were actually bite wounds."

Fish and Game officers found their other dog, Holly, dead near her backyard.

"We're really glad that we got to save, at least, one of our babies," said Carissa.

Officers say bite marks on both dogs are consistent with a mountain lion, but despite setting up cameras, weren't able to find the lion itself.

"It could be anywhere," said Evin Oneale with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

He says officers talked to two of Loralee's neighbors who say they've both had dogs attacked in the past two weeks, by what officers now believe is a mountain lion. Oneale encourages everyone to contact them immediately if something like that happens, so they might be able to prevent an attack. "It's like a bank reporting that they've been robbed two days earlier. We have to know about it right away!"

Oneale says it's probably a young mountain lion on its own for the first time and struggling to find food, so it has turned to pets.

Also, Fish and Game officers says it's good that the cat seems to be afraid of people. But they say you should keep an eye on your small pets and children, especially around dusk and before dawn, when cats are most active.

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