WEST QUINCY, Mo. (KMOX) — The latest sighting involves a deputy sheriff on routine patrol who spotted the big cat but the deputy was able to put his spotlight on the lion and he got a real good, up close and personal look.
The Hannibal Courier-Post reports that Marion County deputy Eric Dudley was on patrol in West Quincy on June 30 when a mountain lion walked in front of his patrol car, went into an overgrown area and stalked a raccoon. The Post goes on to report “He was pretty positive it was a mountain lion,” Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Shinn said Wednesday morning. “We’ve don’t know if we’ve got multiple families of them up there or what.”
The sheriff’s department immediately called the Missouri Department of Conservation in Hannibal. The department’s Matt Markley spoke with Dudley and gave instructions to mark the area.
“He said he had seen a mountain lion. It had crossed the road in front of him, he backed up, he put a spotlight on it and he saw it sitting,” Barkley said. “It’s kind of a populated area up there by Quincy and that’s kind of an unnatural area for the lion to be. They tend to stay to themselves, they’re kind of a solitary animal. They don’t want to be around people.”
Dudley marked the area where he last saw the mountain lion stalking a raccoon.
The next day Markley went to the site located along county road 357 near Highway 24 adjacent to West Quincy’s old drive-in movie theater.
“I went the next morning to try and find some physical evidence and I looked around for hair, scat or (anything it may have killed) and couldn’t located anything at all,” Markley said. “This is not a confirmed sighting because of lack of physical evidence with the Department of Conservation, but its a pretty credible source and we’re treating it as such.
“We’re a scientific organization, without some type of scientific proof we cannot confirm that it was a mountain lion.” Markley said the animal more than likely long gone from the area by now.
Markley said the animal more than likely long gone from the area by now. “Those are generally bachelor males that are traveling, and they generally follow waterways,” he said.