More sightings of a cougar in Great Falls

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GREAT FALLS – The Great Falls Police Department said the mountain lion that had been roaming the city for a few days was spotted early Wednesday morning near North 6th Avenue and 21st Street.

Patrol officers investigated the sighting and saw tracks in the snow.

Additionally, a woman posted on Facebook Wednesday morning that she saw the mountain lion overnight on home surveillance video in the driveway of North 5th Avenue and 19th Street.

The GFPD said“Please be aware of your surroundings, including looking in trees. And be sure to keep a watchful eye out for small pets. If you see the wild cat, please call 911 with l “location and direction of travel. If you have a chance to keep an eye on the big cat safely, please do so until officers arrive.”



(18 JANUARY 2022) Matt Winkle was driving in Great Falls Monday night and saw what he thought was a mountain lion.

He shared a brief video with MTN News of the puma, which was near 8th Avenue North and 10th Street.

Winkle said in a Facebook post: “First saw him cross 9th street to the right at the bridge. Tried to follow him, lost him around 11th and 6th ave … The cops invaded the area, but I had lost sight of him by then. . He slipped down an alley and went into someone’s yard. Then disappeared… “

A man records a video of a mountain lion in Great Falls

Winkle told MTN on Tuesday: “Well, I saw him crossing the road and initially he was coming from the dog park towards the Cascade Electric building. And I see deer doing this all the time, so I thought it was a little deer, but it was moving weird. And then when it stopped and turned its head towards me like cats do, it was like, damn it, it’s a cougar .

Several other people have commented on seeing a mountain lion in town over the past few days.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks say it’s rare to see mountain lions within the city limits, but also not unheard of.

FWP Region 4 spokesman Dave Hagengruber said cougars had been reported in town before, but it was rare and people needn’t be overly concerned: “In general , as far as mountain lion distribution goes, if there are deer in the area, anywhere in Montana, it wouldn’t be uncommon to have a mountain lion, so even though it’s rare to having one within the city limits is not unheard of.”

He also advised what to do if you encounter a mountain lion, wherever you are: “Any predator like that, I think goes without saying, but give them space. Definitely do not approach the cougar. Make yourself bigger, make yourself big. Put your hood over your head. Wave your arms, shout, make a lot of noise. Let them know you’re not a deer. If you are in a vehicle, stay in your vehicle. Blow the horn, make some noise. The lion will fly away. They don’t want to run into humans, so if you give them the chance, they’ll escape. I’m pretty sure it’s just a passing lion looking for something to eat.

The National Park Service provides the following guidelines if you encounter a mountain lion:

  • Don’t go near a lion. Most cougars will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
  • Don’t run away from a lion. Running can stimulate a mountain lion’s hunting instinct. Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye contact. If you have young children with you, pick them up if possible so they don’t panic and run. Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the puma.
  • Do not squat or bend over. A standing human is just not the right form for a lion’s prey. Conversely, a squatting or leaning person looks like prey on all fours. In cougar country, avoid crouching, crouching, or bending, even when picking up children.
  • To do whatever you can to look taller. Lift your arms. Open your jacket if you’re wearing one. Again, take the little kids. Throw rocks, branches, or anything you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice. The idea is to convince the puma that you are not prey and that you can be a danger to him.
  • Push back if attacked. A Southern California hiker used a rock to fend off a mountain lion that was attacking his son. Others fought back successfully with sticks, caps, jackets, gardening tools and bare hands. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite its head or neck, try to stay upright and face the attacking animal
  • Bear spray. Take bear spray with you on the hike. Although called “bear” spray, pepper powder will work on just about any wild or domestic animal that attacks.

Residents should immediately report any possible mountain lion sightings to law enforcement or Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.



February 23, 2021: Jay Kinsey was driving northeast of White Sulfur Springs last week when he saw something unusual: three young mountain lions running along the road.

3 cougars running along the road

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