TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-Residents of Twin Falls and Kimberly have been reporting more sightings of mountain lions in their neighborhoods. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said it has gotten more reports of the cougars roaming residential neighborhoods in the two towns and that the big cats have killed livestock east of Twin Falls. People living in Kimberly told Idaho Fish and Game that cougars have been caught on security cameras around homes and neighborhoods.

Idaho Fish and Game said people should be alert and vigilant in areas known to have wildlife. In 2020, a mountain lion was caught on camera behind a business in downtown Kimberly. Residents in the Wood River Valley have often come in contact with the cats, while several have attacked and killed pets in past years. Mountain lions inhabited the area long before development began in the Magic Valley.

A newly created website for people living in the Wood River Valley provides tips on living in an area where wildlife is frequently seen,, created by the Wood River Valley Wildlife Smart Communities Coalition. Idaho Fish and Game said people should visit the site for more information.

One of the main attractors for the cougars is deer that often roam the lower valley neighborhoods along the Snake River. With deer becoming more common of sight in neighborhoods it's only natural to see mountain lions, according to Idaho Fish and Game.

Idaho Fish and Game provided these tips if anyone encounters a cougar face-to-face:
-NEVER run away from a mountain lion. The lion’s instinct is to chase and ultimately catch what they perceive as potential prey.
-NEVER turn your back on a lion. Always face them while making yourself look as large as you can. Yell loudly, but don’t scream. A high-pitched -scream may mimic the sound of a wounded animal.
-SLOWLY back away while maintaining eye contact with the lion.
-Safety equipment you may choose to carry could include bear spray, a noise device, like an airhorn, and if you walk in the dark, a very bright flashlight.
-If you are attacked, fight back!

Idaho Fish and Game also provided tips for pet owners:
-Keep your pets on a leash.
-Watch the pets’ behavior, since they may sense the lion before you can actually see them.
-Do not feed your pet outside, or leave their food dishes outside. The mountain lion will not typically be attracted by the food, but the food could attract other wildlife, such as raccoons or skunks that could be looked at as prey by a lion.
-Before letting your pet outside, turn on lights, make noise and look to ensure the yard is clear of wildlife. Do not assume that a privacy fence will exclude a mountain lion from your yard.
-Accompany your pet outside if possible.

For more tips on living near mountain lions go to the Idaho Fish and Game website.

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