BOISE -- The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is urging parents to keep a close watch on their children after a young mountain lion was spotted at two locations near the Broadway Avenue Bridge in Boise Monday morning.
Greenbelt users are advised to be aware of their surrounding and keep small pets close.
The cat was first spotted at a construction site at Broadway Avenue and Myrtle Street around 4:30 a.m. Boise Police and Fish and Game officers responded, but did not find any sign of the mountain lion.
Police got a second call around 6:30 a.m. that the mountain lion was seen crossing the Boise River using the Friendship footbridge, which links Julia Davis Park with the Boise State campus. A witness said the cat crossed the bridge, turned upriver and disappeared. Officers responded again but found no sign of the animal.
There has also been a third report of a mountain lion sighting. Lion tracks were reported along the Greenbelt east of the Broadway Avenue Bridge. Again, the report was investigated, but no tracks were found.
Fish and Game officers say this may be the same young mountain lion spotted in the front yard of a home in Warm Springs Mesa neighborhood that was feeding on a freshly killed mule deer Friday night. The mountain lion was seen twice in the area that night. Fish and Game officers waited at the home Sunday night, but the animal did not return.
Evin Oneale, with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, thinks the lion may still be in the Boise area.
We figure it's either probably up a tree or in some heavy brush somewhere, lions don't like a lot of disturbance so when things get busy, they tend to go into hiding. said Evin Oneale
Oneale says it is not unusual to spot mountain lions in town, in fact he says lions come down often, but most people do not see them. He thinks there's just one lion, despite the multiple reported sightings.
Our best guess is that this a young lion that has been kicked out by its mother, it's on its own for the first time so it's looking for territory said Evin Oneale
The Fish and Game Department has a zero tolerance policy for mountain lions who hang around the city. If they are frequently visible and visit populated areas, they have to be shot and killed once they're caught. Authorities are urging anyone who sees a mountain lion anywhere in Boise to report the incident immediately to Boise Police or the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.