Department of wildlife releases new details in mountain lion attack

APHIS Wildlife Services tracked down and euthanized the lion
A file image of a mountain lion
A file image of a mountain lion(MGN)
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 11:39 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Update at 3:49 p.m. on Nov. 18: The Nevada Department of Wildlife is releasing new details about a mountain lion’s attack on a 14-year-old girl in south Reno.

They say the girl was walking a short distance from her home when she noticed a small mountain lion stalking her. NDOW officials say she took the necessary steps to deter the lion, including facing it, throwing rocks, and yelling.

She was knocked to the ground, potentially because her dog was spooked, before the lion pounced on her. The lion immediately released her and ran away.

“This is extremely strange behavior from a mountain lion. Usually these are very elusive animals, and it’s rare to see a mountain lion, let alone be approached by one,” said Nevada Department of Wildlife Public Information Officer Ashley Sanchez. “We suspect the mountain lion, which was emaciated, either attacked out of desperation for food, or this was practice hunting behavior for the animal based on its small size and the fact that it immediately ran away.”

Since the Nov. 10 incident, NDOW has received calls of mountain lion activity in the Virginia Foothills that is currently being investigated by wardens.

A 14-year-old girl was attacked by a mountain lion while walking her dog in south Reno.

Officials with the Nevada Department of Wildlife say the attack happened on Nov. 10 on Terry Way in the foothills of south Reno.

Department of Wildlife officials say the circumstances of the attack, including why it attacked, are not yet known but both the girl and the dog are safe. The girl did, however, suffer what appeared to be scratch wounds.

APHIS Wildlife Services tracked down and euthanized the lion.

NDOW says that since the attack, there have been more sightings of mountain lions in the area, and are advising people to follow these steps:

  • Remove anything that might attract deer or other prey animals. This can include birdseed, pet food, trash or compost, water features, fallen fruit, excess shrubs, woodpiles, decks or other structures that can provide cover or a place to den.
  • Make efforts to discourage deer from being present in your yard – deer are one of the top food sources for mountain lions, so if they are in your yard, a lion could be too.
  • Install devices to scare away the lions – motion-activated lights and/or sprinklers are a great place to start!
  • Closely supervise children whenever they play outdoors. Make sure children are inside before dusk and not outside before dawn. Talk with your children about lions and teach them what to do if they encounter one.