Bears, Mtn. Lions, Entangled Deer Spotted in Missoula - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Bears, Mtn. Lions, Entangled Deer Spotted in Missoula

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MISSOULA -

Mountain lions, entangled deer, and now bears have all been spotted roaming neighborhoods in Missoula this fall.

FWP officials said residents can coexist with wildlife in town, and they're working to keep the public -- and the animals -- out of harm's way.

They said a female black bear and two cubs were spotted eating a deer carcass off Dickinson Street in the Rattlesnake area on Monday.

FWP officials said black bears do live in the Rattlesnake wilderness, so it's not uncommon for them to roam the area.

Residents also spotted a deer with a garbage bin lid around its neck in the south end of town.

"The first step in those cases, when we do get those reports, is just to allow a little time to pass, because most times the animal will get untangled and that's the best way to play it out," said Vivica Crowser, of FWP.

Crowser said sometimes an entangled animal can't break free, in which case they'll tranquilize it and remove the snare.

"It's always a difficult scenario, though, because anytime you try to immobilize an animal, there's some risk involved to everyone, so we try to avoid it," Crowser said.

She added officials are still on the lookout for at least one mountain lion.

They believe one is living in the upper Miller Creek area, and at least one has been spotted near Cold Springs Elementary.

"If you accompany your child, or send an older sibling or an adult with them to the bus stop, that is a good idea right now," Crowser said.

FWP officials said September and October are months young mountain lions typically leave their mothers, and can wander into urban areas. 

"But, we have had frequent reports, so it is something we take seriously."

If you do encounter a mountain lion, FWP officials said to do what you can to appear larger, throw stones or branches, and speak in a loud voice to intimidate the animal.

FWP officials said they encourage anyone who spots wildlife in town to call their office at 542-5500.

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