NDOW officials not surprised by Reno mountain lion sighting

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Updated: 5/22/2014 6:34 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- As dry weather continues, it seems our local wildlife is getting more adventurous in the search for food.

"We live in Nevada," said NDOW spokesman Chris Healy. "We enjoy our wildlife, and once in a while we get up close and personal with them."

Healy said the mountain lion spotted in Reno Wednesday night is the third big cat to roam into town in the last two years.

"From kittens all the way up to adults we probably have close to about 14 mountain lions in the Carson Range," he said.

With these dry conditions, they're leaving the mountains in search of food. So are bears and coyotes, but Healy said it's not a reason for people to be alarmed.

"Most of the time you have nothing to fear from these mountain lions because, in a case like this, this mountain lion was more scared than anybody, any human, could have been," Healy said.

But Healy said you should keep an eye on your pets.

"You just need to be aware," he said. "Keep your pets on a leash. When you're outside, make a little noise when you're walking. Don't surprise a mountain lion, a bear or a coyote. Make sure they know you're coming and usually they're going to get out of the way."

He's not sure if they gave the cat enough of a scare to make it head for the hills.

"There's a good chance that the mountain lion could make an appearance again and hopefully we're going to be able to get it back up into the mountains where it has a fighting chance to be a wild mountain lion and not become a nuisance lion, which can be a problem for everybody," Healy said.

Healy said both the other mountain lions found in the last few years were fitted with a GPS collar and released near Spooner Summit, and University of Nevada researchers have been studying their travel patterns ever since.
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