Problem Mountain Lion Taken Care Of
Geoff Mahar of Hamilton, Montana followed a 50 foot long blood trail, to find one of his large sheep buried under sticks and dirt. The wether was an obvious lion kill; there was a partially eaten shoulder, claw marks down the side, and bite marks. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Lou Royce told Mahar he had permission to kill the mountain lion when it returned. A friend helped out with hounds, but to no avail.
A U.S. Wildlife Services trapper set traps around the carcass. Mahar went about his business the rest of the day, then when sitting down to eat dinner; "I remembered that I hadn't asked the blessing," Mahar said. "I prayed: Lord, it would be a small thing in your sight if we could get this lion thing finished." Suddenly there was squawking from the front yard, the mountain lion had returned and was coming up the driveway, leaped over the fence and attacked Karen Mahar's goose. She yelled at the mountain lion, who showed no signs of fear from the humans. Geoff shot the lion in his front yard.
Biologist Royce said it is unusual that the mountain lion would return so soon, but that this year is different because of the heavy snows. The animals are pushed down lower and are simply hungry. There have been more bear and lion complaints. They are looking for a meal and eating whatever they can find. He said it is likely someone is feeding deer close to Mahar's house that drew in the lion. People put out food for deer, not realizing if they bring in deer they are more than likely bringing in predators as well. From the Missoulian.