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Idaho mountain lion sightings and attacks prompt safety advice for pets

Mountain Lion watching prey (FILE).

In Idaho, this time of year, mountain lion sightings typically peak.

Idaho Fish and Game told CBS 2 News that during the winter mountain lions come down from the snowy remote areas in the mountains, following after deer and elk, and travel to where it's warmer — sometimes among people.

The good news is mountain lion attacks on humans are extremely rare. However, Idaho Fish and Game said our pets can make for easy prey.

Just in the past month, two dogs have been killed in mountain lion attacks. Earlier this week, a woman made headlines after breaking up a fight between her dog and a cougar.

"Some of these cats, if we were to profile them, tend to be your younger animals," said Roger Phillips, with public information supervisor with Idaho Fish and Game. "Mountain Lions are very territorial."

When it comes to keeping your pets safe, Idaho Fish and Game recommends always keeping them in sight and under your control.

"If I'm out there with my dog, I am always going to have an eye on my dog and I am going to make sure that dog is going to come back to me when I call," said Phillips.

Mountain Lions are most active around dusk, dawn, and at night, so that's when you should be most cautious of letting your pets outside.

For the most part, mountain lions keep to themselves. But, in the case you come across one in the wild here's what Idaho Fish and Game said you should do:

  1. Stop and make yourself big
  2. Maintain eye contact
  3. Back up slowly toward shelter if it's nearby, like a house or car
  4. Yell and wave your arms
  5. Throw objects
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