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Officials kill mountain lion found near downtown Helena

May 22, 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana wildlife officials have killed a mountain lion that was found off a busy street near downtown Helena.

Helena interim Police Chief Steve Hagen says a NorthWestern Energy employee spotted the young male cat Wednesday morning in bushes near the company’s offices on Last Chance Gulch.

The main street in central Helena leads downtown and is located near two city parks.

Hagen says state wildlife officials were called to kill the animal because immobilizing and relocating mountain lions in urban areas is not feasible or safe.

Mountain lions are found across most of Montana after they were nearly wiped out in the early 20th century due to hunting and depletion of their prey.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say hunters have killed mountain lions in 49 of the state’s 56 counties.

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