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State wildlife officials kill mountain lion roaming Billings neighborhood

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Posted at 9:03 AM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 11:03:10-04

A mountain lion in west Billings was killed Thursday by state wildlife officials for the safety of the people living in the area.

The lion went up a tree in the Oakridge subdivion, near 48th Street West.

Game wardens and a biologist from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks responded.

The first sitings of the animal walking in a yard, came around 4 a.m.

According to neighbors, it went into at least one tree before walking through another yard to another tree.

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KTVQ photo

"These are circumstances that occur when it gets hot and dry, especially bears and mountain lions," said Sgt. Matt Ladd, game warden with FWP. "They're in kind of a desperate need for food, and a lot of times they'll end up in really urban areas and in this case right in the middle of a subdivision with a lot of houses around, which posed a considerable public safety risk. So unfortunately this time we had to put the lion down."

Ladd says it's important to keep pets inside at night to keep them safe from mountain lions.

As for bears, he said to make sure to put away things with a food scent, such as barbecues and garbage cans.