SUMMERVILLE, Mo. (KMOX) – First it was Armadillos and then it was mountain lion sightings, but Friday we have more than just a sighting.
On September 5, in south-central Texas County, Missouri, a property owner shot a big male mountain lion on his land, just three miles from where a big cat was caught by a trail camera back in July.
Although mountain lions are protected in the state, conservation officials say they may be shot if people perceive a threat to themselves or their property. Conservation officials say they found no reason to charge the landowner in this case.
The conservation department took possession of the lion and will use it for education and DNA testing.
MDC Biologist Jeff Beringer, who is a member of MDC’s Mountain Lion Response Team, says that widely scattered mountain lion sightings have been confirmed in Missouri and likely will continue. Evidence to date indicates these animals are dispersing from other states to the west of Missouri. The most extreme evidence of this dispersal occurred in early 2011 when a mountain lion that was killed in Connecticut was genetically traced to South Dakota.
Officials say they have no confirmed evidence of a breeding population in Missouri. They say it appears that mountain lions are dispersing from states to the west.