According to a press release issued by the Idaho Fish and Game, a family camping near Green Canyon Hot Springs east of Rexburg, Idaho, saved their four-year-old daughter from being dragged away from their campfire by a mountain lion on the evening of Friday, August 12, 2016.
The family saw the lion in the vicinity earlier in the day, which in itself is highly unusual. When the cat appeared later in the evening and attempted to snatch the child, the family began yelling at the cougar; it dropped the girl and fled. According to the family, the child was physically unharmed, except for a few scratches.
Idaho Fish & Game Senior Conservation Officer Andrew Sorensen enlisted the aid of local hound hunter Mike Pimentel to immediately attempt to track the lion. At 2:00 AM on the morning of the thirteenth, a young female lion was treed by the hounds a few hundred yards from the camp. The cat was killed by deputies from the Madison County Sheriff’s office. Other campers in the area were notified of the ongoing situation.
Cougar sightings are rare, let alone attack on humans. When lions do attack, records indicate that small children are often the targets.
WCCLAS sent an inquiry to Idaho Fish & Game asking if killing mountain lions versus capture and re-release to a less human populated area is standard procedure. A response to our inquiry has yet to be received.