A mountain lion was killed by wildlife officials after it broke into a neighborhood in western Las Vegas Monday morning.
The local TV station KTNV reported that the lion had been scared into a tree by a pit bull when officials made the decision to kill it. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was called to the neighborhood at 6 p.m. 9 local time after a resident saw an animal wandering around.
Upon arrival, officers confirmed the animal was a mountain lion and requested assistance from the Nevada Division of Wildlife and Clark County Animal Control.
Residents were asked to stay inside their homes while officials tried to catch the big cat.
The mountain lion then jumped into a backyard where a pit bull scared it into a tree.
When the lion was confined to this area, officials tried to calm it down. However, KTNV reported that the drugs affected it.
Officials then made the decision to kill the mountain lion.
In Nevada, mountain lion sightings like this are rare. But they have risen in recent years, especially in neighborhoods in the western valley. Last year, 3 News reported last year that there had been more sightings in these areas. This has been attributed to the expansion of residential buildings moving deeper into the lion’s habitat.
It may also be a result of more people installing cameras and surveillance equipment in their homes.
According to the Mountain Lion Foundation, Nevada’s mountain lion population is currently around 2,200 and “likely declining” due to habitat loss and trophy hunting.
About 45 percent of the state is a suitable habitat for the animals, but the population is struggling due to threats from Nevada’s Predator Management program, which was introduced to allow the killing of coyotes, mountain lions and other wildlife found in “federally protected” wilderness areas of the state .
Mountain lions do not usually attack humans, and those who do are usually young and forced out to hunt on their own, and they are therefore looking for an easy prey as pets and small children. People can also come in contact with a mountain lion while using hiking and running trails based along the animal’s habitat.
Mountain lions usually hunt large animals, such as deer and elk.
Another mountain lion was killed by U.S. authorities earlier this month after it was found in the lobby of a vacation apartment in Colorado. Wildlife officials were contacted after observations in Vali and they found the big cat was “severely emaciated” and in “poor condition”.
Police said the mountain lion’s poor health probably drove it into the apartment. “We would like to inform guests and residents that this type of behavior from a mountain lion is unusual,” Vali Police said in a Facebook post. “While mountain lions are native to Eagle County, they are typically elusive, and sightings are rare.”