Reports of mountain lions continue as Prescott Animal Control advises vigilance
Prescott Animal Control Officer Cara Hamer is urging residents to be cautious and vigilant amid an unusually high number of reports of mountain lion sightings and deadly attacks on local pets and wildlife.
An update from the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) reported that a mountain lion killed two small dogs in Prescott recently, with part of one attack being caught on a ring camera in the area of West Rosser Street and Granite Springs Drive, she said.
The Courier is tracking other incidents, ranging from a mountain lion spied on Goodwin Street, downtown, to coyotes attacking a dog and a mountain lion killing two alpacas out Williamson Valley.
However there haven’t been any reports to the Prescott Police Department (PPD) or to the AZGFD of any aggressive behavior towards humans by a mountain lion.
According to Hamer, though there were two ring camera sightings including one of a mountain lion as of early morning May 3. And AZGFD is in constant communication with the city animal control department.
One thing to note, she said, is the number of people feeding wildlife in Prescott with the deer and javelina predators soon to follow.
“Let wildlife be wild,” she stated emphatically. “Do not feed them, and do not create dependency.”
Wild neighbors are able to be seen, she said, as they move around the city, so stay vigilant, educate yourself, don’t run, get loud and make the interaction uncomfortable for them.
Mountain lions breed at any time of the year, according to AZGFD, with the peak period for kitten births occurring in the summer into early fall. The litters average about three kittens. The young remain with their mother for approximately 18 months, as they learn the skills necessary to survive independently. Juvenile males, though, tend to disperse much longer distances than juvenile females.
Mountain lions, AZGFD stated, are typically solitary animals, with the exception of females with kittens or breeding pairs.
Deer, both Coue’s and mule, are the primary prey for mountain lions in the Arizona wild, AZFGD stated, although they will also prey on javelina, bighorn sheep, small mammals and livestock. If humans are leaving food sources out, either intentionally feeding wildlife or unintentionally leaving out garbage, pet food or small pets, mountain lions may feed on those, being the items that are most accessible, which raises the chance of a human-wildlife conflict.
Visit www.azgfd.com/wildlife-conservation/living-with-wildlife for more information, and report bear or mountain lion sightings to AZGFD at 623- 236-7201.
Also, keep pets on a leash and keep a close eye on them when they are out.
Reach Debra Winters by email at dwinters@firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1111.
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