Lander’s Mountain Lion returned, was “lethally removed”

The female mountain lion removed from Lander returned and killed a deer on south 4th Street. The lion was located and euthanized to protect human safety. WGFD

To ensure human safety, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department lethally removed a female mountain lion after she returned to Lander.

The female sub-adult mountain lion was previously captured on New Year’s Day for localizing near McManus Park inside Lander City limits. Upon initial capture, she was fitted with a radio collar and relocated to a more remote area within a different river drainage. Despite these efforts, she returned to the Middle Fork Popo Agie drainage within a week. 

On the evening of Jan. 10, the Game and Fish received reports that a deer was covered up with wood chips in a yard along south 4th street in Lander. Upon investigation, it was verified as a mountain lion kill. In coordination with the public and the Lander Police Department, Game and Fish personnel located the cat and removed her.  

“Relocation is tough with mountain lions because of how far they can move, but based on the initial circumstance of the capture on New Year’s we felt it was proper to try,” said Large Carnivore Supervisor Dan Thompson. “However, because of the failed relocation attempt and the bold behavior within the City, for human safety, we felt the best option was lethal removal,” 

Thompson added, “Thank you to the City and the public for their support. It is a tough day for us when we have to put down wildlife.”

Mountain lions, like other species of wildlife, often use river and stream drainages as natural travel corridors, which can lead them into town. Mountain lions can move long distances, especially juvenile animals that are dispersing in search of their own home range. Game and Fish reminds people not to feed wildlife, feeding wildlife such as deer may make an otherwise dispersing mountain lion stick around for an easy meal or follow deer into residential areas. It is not surprising that a mountain lion moving through town, however, Game and Fish doesn’t promote them making a living in the city of Lander.

Incidents involving mountain lions should be reported as soon as possible to your local Game and Fish Regional Office (Lander Region phone 307-332-2688) during business hours or to a local law enforcement agency.