Severed Mountain Lion Foot Found in Trap
Organizations Team Up in Response
In Defense of Animals and two local Montana organizations recently teamed up to call on Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) to have more accountability in the management of mountain lions in the Big Sky State after the gruesome and horrific discovery of a severed mountain lion’s limb in a foothold trap (see photo). The alliance sought a reduction in the overall quota of recreational killing (hunting) of mountain lions in the Bitterroot Valley, by counting trap-related injuries and deaths toward the overall hunting quota, and by holding trappers accountable.
The severed mountain lion foot was discovered around March 24 by a resident in the Bitterroot Valley. He reported deep claw marks on a nearby tree, indicating that the estimated four-year-old male lion was desperately trying to seek shelter and escape the source of excruciating pain – a foothold trap actually set for wolves. Thanks to recreational and commercial trapping interests, this mountain lion is almost certainly dead by now, having either succumbed to starvation, attack by other carnivores, shock, or finally a painful infection of the severed limb, or any combination of these threats to his survival.
In IDA’s press release, Anja Heister stated that “At least 15 mountain lions have been reported to FWP as caught in traps specifically set for wolves in addition to other species over the course of two trapping seasons, between 2012 and 2014. Yet, these tragic trapping-related injuries and mortalities do not count toward the overall quota for mountain lions. They are also considered merely “incidental” and go unpunished.”
Montana residents: Please stay tuned for our upcoming statewide alert to provide public comment on mountain lion quotas in Montana and please make sure we have you signed up with your state provided.