JACKSON HOLE, WYO –Recent big cat sightings near Smith’s do not appear to be the same mountain lion observed earlier in the Cache Creek drainage.
Jackson large carnivore biologist Mike Boyce and Bridger Teton National Forest wildlife biologist Kerry Murphy both responded to calls of a cougar sighted in Cache Creek, near the boundary with the National Elk Refuge, in late January/early February. The mountain lion was reportedly snacking on an elk carcass.
Boyce and Murphy found the elk near Nelson Drive in east Jackson. They scared the lion off and removed the carcass to dissuade the cat from returning. In late February, the cat was again found to be feeding on another elk carcass and that carcass was removed as well.
Meanwhile, not long after, several people reported seeing a mountain lion very near Broadway and up on the butte across from Smith’s. After conferring with Boyce, Game & Fish spokesperson Mark Gocke said it is probably not the same cat.
Both mountain lions have been well behaved and “have stayed out of trouble,” according to Gocke. Neither is tagged or collared.
All residents are urged to continue to practice good wildlife-urban interface practices by keeping possible attractants and food sources well secured, stored, and out of sight.