Deer Killed By Mountain Lion In Missoula Neighborhood - News, Sports and Weather

Deer Killed By Mountain Lion In Missoula Neighborhood

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Residents in an urban Missoula neighborhood are concerned about their safety outdoors, after a deer was killed by what appears to be a mountain lion late Tuesday night.

Harry Croft found this gruesome site behind his son's back yard Wednesday morning, after a warning from a neighbor.

"We went down behind the back of the house, and sure enough, the deer was down there, and it was apparent a mountain lion killed it," Croft said.

The deer was killed right behind several homes in a neighborhood full of families in the Pattee Canyon area.

"It surprises me a mountain lion would be here, right in the middle of town, between houses, actually hunting," Croft said.

As a grandfather with two small grandson's living in the area, Croft said the mountain lion's kill raises concerns for the families in the neighborhood.

"It's a concern that a mountain lion is so unconcerned with so many people, in the middle of houses. A mountain lion is easily a large animal that can take down a child quite readily," Croft said.

Vivica Crowser with the FWP said while the kill could be alarming for residents, this type of mountain lion activity is not necessarily uncommon, even in neighborhoods.

"We are in a spot where we're surrounded by a habitat that's great for mountain lions, so having them come to town or the fringes of town is certainly not uncommon," Crowser said.

Crowser said sightings and kills only become a problem when they become a pattern.

"When it starts to escalate to routine visits or coming in on a kill site routinely, in places where there's close proximity to people. That's where we want to respond, because human safety is the top concern," Crowser said.

FWP is keeping an eye out until there is a concern in this case, but still Croft said he can't help but worry about his grandchildren.

"Even though they hunt at night, a hungry animal will hunt during the day given the  opportunity, and a child in a backyard would be easy prey," Croft said.

Again, the FWP is looking into this case, but has not removed the carcass, because it was not close enough to any homes.

FWP game wardens said they had reports of four mountain lion sightings in different areas on Wednesday alone. If you want to report a mountain lion sighting or kill, head to the FWP website.

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