Conservation Department Confirms Mountain Lion Sighting
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) told KOMU 8 News Friday it has confirmed a mountain lion sighting in southern Linn County using two photos taken by a trail camera last Dec. 29. An absentee landowner contacted the MDC Tuesday after finding the two photos.
Jeff Beringer, a resource scientist with the MDC's Mountain Lion Response Team, confirmed the animal was indeed a mountain lion and it appeared to be wearing a radio collar with antenna. "We know that Colorado, Montana, and South Dakota have mountain lion research programs going on. Colorado has a number of cats that have radio collars, but they have no cats unaccounted for right now, so it's looking like it may have come from the Dakotas."
This latest sighting brings Missouri's totals to five confirmed mountain lions since Nov. and 15 confirmed reports over the past 16 years. The Linn County sighting is about 25 miles away from where a mountain lion was shot and killed in Macon County in January. Although there's been an increase this year in reported sightings, Beringer says Missourians shouldn't be concerned. "These animals are very secretive. They really just assume to not be around us." Beringer says it's very rare to spot a mountain lion, but that if you do, you should report it immediately to the MDC.