Mountain lion blocks plane landing

Idaho officials say lion killed for public safety

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A mountain lion was put down after wandering onto a runway and delaying a plane landing in Idaho.

A mountain lion on a runway delayed a plane landing at an Idaho airport Saturday night.

The Delta flight from Salt Lake City to Friedman Memorial Airpot in Hailey took a 20-minute detour after aborting its initial approach to avoid the lion, according to the Idaho Mountain Express.

Airport staff in a car chased the lion into an enclosed area and Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials shot and killed the animal, the newspaper reported.

Officials said they shot the lion to protect the public, including those exiting the plane, the newspaper reported. The conservation officer didn't have access to a tranquilizer dart gun and there wasn't time to trap it, officials said. 

Officials told the newspaper that they don't usually relocate large predators that approach humans.

"The risk isn't worth the reward," said Mike McDonald, the department's regional wildlife manager. 

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