The Kootenai County Commission has directed the local prosecutor to draft an exotic animal ordinance following complaints about roaring lions and tigers in the northwestern part of the county.
"You have not lived until you've heard a lovesick lion in heat," said Bette Jergensen, whose neighbor Glenda York near Rathdrum owns two lions and a tiger.Jergensen has asked the prosecutor to take action, saying the animals are a danger to the community and a public nuisance.
"She had one lion confined in a cage that wasn't strong enough for it," Jergensen said.
With two other big cat owners in the county as well, the commission wants an ordinance drafted that while still allowing exotic animal ownership would set out standards that must be met before a license is granted to keep a lion or tiger. It will also address cage dimension and construction.
But that may not go far enough.
"I don't want them in my neighborhood within 150 feet of my door," said Lorraine Boyd, another of York's neighbors.
Deputy Prosecutor Kerwin Bennett said a compliant would be issued against York, seeking to remove the cats, but he conceded it may be a tough case to win.
"We have to prove it is indeed a public nuisance," Bennett said.