By ROBERT S. MERRILL
A sub-adult mountain lion was hit by a car and then darted by Preston police officials early Friday morning.
Louis Mendoza, a Preston resident, told The Preston Citizen at approximately 6 a.m. he was driving northbound at 65 No. State in front of U&I Furniture when he saw a large animal run across the highway heading west.
“I was going about 25 miles per hour and slammed on my breaks. As I was coming to a stop, my car hit the animal. I thought it was a large dog. I got out of the car and realized it was a mountain lion,” he said.
“The lion got up and ran to the west into an alleyway behind the business district. I followed it and it kept darting back and forth behind vehicles and other items in the alley. I called Preston Police who came to the scene.
“The animal became cornered next to a car-parking garage and a fence west of U&I, where it remained until local Fish and Game officer Corey Owen arrived.”
The IDFG gave permission for city officials to dart the lion with a tranquilizer and city equipment. That happened just before 8 a.m.
Fish and Game officers, Jed Geddes, Boone Smith, Sam Smith, Bill Golightly, and police officer Chad Dunn loaded the animal into a crate. Local fish and game officer Corey Owens said he will have to wait for a decision by his superiors in Pocatello about the fate of the animal.
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