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Mountain Lion

Stock image. A 6-year-old boy had an encounter with a mountain lion outside of Dillon last Friday in his backyard. The boy was not hurt.

BUTTE – A mountain lion took a swipe at a 6-year-old boy outside of Dillon last Friday.

Two boys were playing in the back yard of a residence on Medicine Lodge Road southwest of Dillon last Friday when a male mountain lion took a swipe at one boy’s leg. The boy had on pants and was not injured. The lion left a small red mark on the boy’s leg, said Fish, Wildlife and Parks Warden Captain Adam Pankratz.

Both boys ran into the house and alerted the child’s father, who found the mountain lion hiding in a barn and killed it. Pankratz said the mountain lion looked emaciated. That could be due to the time of year. The end of the winter season is when wild animals have gone through their fat layers, said Pankratz. The cat also could have been sick. FWP sent the mountain lion to a veterinarian for a necropsy to determine if the animal was ill.

Pankratz said he wasn’t sure if the mountain lion’s attack was predatory or if the boy approached the lion out of curiosity. Pankratz said it’s not uncommon for mountain lions to be in that area.

Beaverhead County Sheriff Frank Kluesner said mountain lion tracks were spotted in a drainage on the east side of Dillon a couple of weeks ago. He said there have been no more sightings since then.

Pankratz said that if you encounter a mountain lion, throw rocks or sticks at it, appear large and make a lot of noise while keeping small children close. Usually, the noise and commotion will cause the mountain lion to run away.

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