BOULDER CITY (KTNV) — The Nevada Department of Wildlife is on the lookout for mountain lions after two reports of the animal in residential areas of Boulder City.
One of the apparent sightings was in the area of Birch Street and the other was about a mile north of Boulder City, according to the department.
Doug Nielsen, conservation and education supervisor for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, says mountain lion sightings are possible but not frequent.
“Virtually every mountain range has mountain lions at some point in time or the other, so it’s not uncommon to have a report of a mountain lion, especially along the outskirts of the valley,” Nielsen said.
After residents reported spotting a mountain lion, Nielsen says a the Department of Wildlife has been patrolling the area at night when the predators are more active. He says they have not seen any mountain lions, but the game warden did find a coyote in the vicinity.
“Sometimes people mistake those for mountain lions when they catch them at a brief glimpse,” Nielsen said.
In a Facebook post that has since been deleted, Boulder City said remains of a large dog were found near Frank Crowe Park. Police believe it could have been a mountain lion attack.
Nielsen says typically, big cats eviscerate and bury their prey in a private spot. Finding dog remains in such a heavily trafficked area leaves wildlife officials uncertain that a mountain lion was to blame.
Either way, the Nevada Department of Wildlife advises not leaving small dogs by themselves and not letting your pets off the leash when you go hiking.
Pet feces and watermelon in your backyard can also attract unwanted predators like coyotes.
If you have an encounter with a mountain lion, Nielsen says not to run. A predator likes to chase their prey. Instead, make yourself look as large as possible.
“Take your jacket, pull it up over your head. It makes you look bigger. Talk calmly to the animal and walk away backwards,” Nielsen said.
If a mountain lion does venture into a residential area, Nielsen says the animal usually keeps moving. If the mountain lion frequents a residential or urban area, he says that's when it becomes a public safety issue.
Click here to learn more about mountain lions from the Nevada Department of Wildlife.