A mountain lion has been spotted in Laurel multiple times over the past week.
According to Laurel Police Chief Rick Musson, the mountain lion was last seen wandering around the north part of town.
The first sighting happened Thursday, September 14 near the area of 1st Avenue and 12th Street. Chief Musson says it was eating on a dead animal.
Captain Mark Guy of the Laurel PD reported the second sighting on Monday, Sep. 18. Capt. Guy says the mountain lion was eating a dead deer at Valley Drive and Beartooth Drive.
Chief Musson says a resident also heard what sounded like a mountain lion scream nearby their home.
According to Bob Gibson with Fish, Wildlife and Parks, it is likely the mountain lion is moving around it's territory searching for food, but will likely move on if it cannot find any.
He says most mountain lions average a range of 100-square miles. Gibson says they will not actively seek a mountain lion unless is becomes a threat to residents. i.e. if the mountain lion attacks a chicken coop, or a resident's child or pet.
Gibson also sent some tips for keeping you, your family, and your animals safe when mountain lions may be nearby.
- Install outside lighting. Movement activated lights placed where you walk are particularly helpful.
- Supervise children, especially during dawn and dusk. Educate them about wildlife and how to behave if they encounter a cougar. Do they know who to call if they see a cougar?
- Landscape wisely, making sure it does not attract deer or other cougar prey; consider deer-proofing your yard and/or garden. Prune dense vegetation which cougars may use for cover.
- Do not feed wildlife, so as to not attract cougar prey.
- If you see a mountain lion, contact your local state game agency to learn more about the wildlife in your area. Communicate with your neighbors, so they are aware of the situation.