Boise-AP -- Last year the Idaho Fish and Game Department received reports about 30 cougar spottings in the Boise area.
In just the first three months this year, it has received 23.
Department Director Steve Huffaker says people should be aware but not paranoid when outdoors. Officials are worried the big cats are lingering around residential areas.
Usually the cougars are reclusive -- so much so that state officials don't know precise population numbers. State officials guess there may be six cougars in the Boise Valley and perhaps up to three-thousand of the big cats in the state.
And officials are warning the cats can become dangerous when they lose their innate fear of humans.
Because of that, Fish and Game will trap and kill a cougar if it becomes a frequent visitor in a populated area.
Populations exceeding the ability of the habitat to sustain them maybe or is it the increased competition with wolf packs that have moved into the area?