Mountain Lions Spotted On Idaho State University Campus

Three mountain lions were spotted on the Idaho State University campus the night of March 28-9.

There are a lot of deer in Pocatello, Idaho right now due to the prolonged winter.







  1. vicki Avatar

    This type of spotting is typical in Colorado, particullarly in the Boulder area (Home of the University of Colorado). Though I am quite sure they aren’t there for education.
    Are there steps in place to get the cats to stay away from people? Or maybe to move the deer somehow? Some sort of efforts will need to be made so that the deer and cats don’t get too acclimated to people.
    Cats in Colorado are rarely exterminated, but are often tranquilized. The DOW here does keep a close eye on the cats reported in city limits. They rarely stick around when they get a lot of attention.
    I see that this is going to be more common with habitat shrinking and weather changing.
    Does Idaho have any type of plan to deal with this? Does Idaho have a tag and remove system prior to shooting the cats? Do they move them when they threaten people? Such as a bear would be?

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    The cougar were only technically on campus it turns out (behind the cemetary on mostly undeveloped Red Hill). I don’t think there are deer on campus or Red Hill because the I-15 Interstate is very difficult for deer to cross, so cougar which might have crossed probably returned to the hills on the east side.

    Pocatello is in a narrow valley with deer on the hills/mountains on both sides, but above the Interstate on the east side of the city. Deer in town on the east side below the Interstate must be pretty rare. The deer, and so the predators, would be on the sides where they don’t have to cross the 6-line Interstate.

    Coming home from Utah yesterday I saw about 50 deer standing amount the large lot homes at the south end of the valley. That’s were the cougar would normally be. Right now there is a lot of road kill, and that too is probably bringing cougar close.

  3. krenb Avatar

    I have a great suggestion for Vivki: why don’t you all
    find a way to keep people away from the cougar’s
    habitat, and stop killing so many of them!

  4. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    It looks like these cougar are still using the campus although summer has come.

    There was an article in the local paper today. The campus has been there for many years, and I’d bet cougars have used it without being seen.

    However, there has been an explosion of homes across I-15, uphill from campus in the Pocatello Mountains. All this development has been controversial.

  5. Salle Avatar

    Not to mention the recent expansion of the campus into what was once pretty much sagebrush before.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan