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Wildlife & outdoors

Mountain lion spotted wandering around Billings

Mountain_Lion_in_Grand_Teton_National_Park.jpg
National Park Service
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Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
A mountain lion -- not this particular one -- has been spotted several times in recent days around Billings.

Billings residents have reported several mountain lion sightings in recent days.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Communication and Education Program Manager Bob Gibson said the lions are probably scoping for food like deer or leftover barbecue, “and they’re sticking around because they’re finding stuff to eat and they’re finding a good place to hide.”

He said mountain lions are common visitors to the city, but video-based screening systems could be ramping up the number of documented sightings.

“I think the reason that we’re seeing more of them now is because there’s more cameras out now and there are more people looking now," he said. "You may recall that a lot of the sightings we’ve had here in the last year have been on Ring doorbell cameras or on security cameras that people have on their houses."

He said mountain lions may stick around for a daytime nap in a nearby tree if they successfully hunt down food at night. He cautioned that residents should avoid leaving meat, pet food and trash outside their homes.