Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are investigating a potential mountain lion sighting near Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital in Hamilton. Region 2 Spokeswoman Vivaca Crowser explains.

“We think that they have tracks that are mountain lion tracks, we are still trying to confirm that,” said Crowser. “The snow that they were in was fresh, like not today, but maybe in the last few days. It made the identification just a little iffy and so we want to confirm that for sure. It is something that we are watching closely. We will likely put a culvert trap out in the area in case it was a lion.”

There have been multiple lion sightings this month in urban areas of western Montana. A few years ago, a study showed lion populations in the Bitterroot were much higher than expected and another lion count in underway right now.

“It is really pertinent right now," Crowser said. "We definitely have a lion population that is above levels that we have had if you look back say over the last 10 years. It is something that we are trying to manage and keep in balance with our hunting season prescription, but having this research and having the focal research is really important."

Croswer says if you see a mountain lion, the best thing to do is call 1-800-TIP-MONT.