LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The City of Las Vegas tweeted over the weekend that another mountain lion was spotted. Just this year, it seems we’ve had more than one make an appearance in valley neighborhoods.
Many are calling this a local trend, as Ring cameras capture the activity. The most recent big cat was tranquilized in a northwest neighborhood, then returned to its habitat by Animal Control.
Gary Gibson has lived in the valley since 2005 and tells 8 News Now he’s never seen a mountain lion roaming around his neighborhood.
“It’s just weird to see them; you don’t see them every day, that’s all,” he said.
Gibson became aware of the activity due to police cars and animal control vehicles near his street. He says police asked everyone to stay inside while they captured the animal.
“We couldn’t actually talk to each other because police were here, and they wanted us inside,” he recounted.
Gibson explained more about the area in which he lives, saying:
“Behind me, there’s the Bureau of Land Management, and around here is Floyd Lamb Park; they are not building anything there. This is their [mountain lions] area up there. That’s where they live.”
Doug Nielsen with the Department of Wildlife says mountain lions in several parts of the valley is nothing new, and they have no way of knowing how many of the big cats there are.
“We really have no way of quantifying exactly how many different lions have been seen,” he noted.
The only ways to know if it is the same one spotted before are if the lion is given an identifier or a DNA sample is compared to previously captured cats.
Wildlife interacting with us has been happening for a long time.
“It does happen. Some years, we have had more sightings than others,” said Nielsen. “Any lions from previous birth years that have now reached adulthood, they get booted out of the nest.”
Because of this, they have to find a territory that’s unoccupied. As for juvenile mountain lions walking around neighborhoods, Nielsen says they are just wandering.
“It seems to be associated with the Spring Mountains range, which has elk population, deer, bighorn sheep, as well as horse population,” he shared.
Nielsen explained the human-lion interaction further, highlighting Las Vegas’ fast growth. He said, “Our development and wildlife meet together, and there’s a lot of interaction between human beings and wildlife, whether it’s squirrels and rabbits, or its coyotes and bobcats or, the occasional mountain lion.”
If you have pets, make sure to supervise them, especially at night. Call authorities immediately if you spot a mountain lion in your neighborhood.