Montana news has been full of mountain lion stories this winter, but a recent story out of Dillon is one of the few in which a mountain lion actually swiped at a human. According to Warden Captain Adam Pankratz, a family reported the following incident involving a six-year-old boy that had been playing in the back yard.

"We're not sure if the kid walked up and approached the mountain lion, not knowing what it was, being that it was a very young kid, or if the mountain lion approached the child, but the mountain lion reached out with its paw and swiped the leg of the six year old child," Pankratz said. "It did not break the skin or cause significant injury, it just left a red scratch mark on the leg, I believe he had pants on that protected the leg."

The boy’s father heard about the mountain lion and responded with lethal force.

"When the kids ran into the house, they told their dad," Pankratz said. "The dad went outside with a firearm and found the mountain lion in a pig shelter. He shot the lion at that point. We inspected the lion at the site and it was visibly sickly looking, very emaciated and skinny, a lot of animals get that way this time of year as food is very scarce."

FWP inspected the scene on Friday, February 17, and is currently testing the mountain lion to find out more information about what provoked the incident. FWP wardens investigated and determined that the father shot the lion in defense of self and property and he will not be facing any charges.