Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mountain lion sightings on the rise in Missouri

MARYVILLE, MO (KXCV) - The weekend shooting of a mountain lion near La Plata in northeast Missouri is the fourth confirmed sighting in the state since November. 
Joe Jerek with the Missouri Department of Conservation says there have only been 14 confirmed sightings in Missouri in the last 16 years. But he says it’s not surprising the rash of recent reports are coming this winter.
"These all appear to be young males. So young male mountain lions tend to go in search of new territories at about 18 months of age. Now that happens usually during their second fall and winter, which is this time of year," Jerek says.
"So that’s one reason we may be seeing this. Another reason is we’ve had a number of recent sightings really along and stemming out from the Missouri River so it’s very probable and at least possible that these mountain lions are coming in from the west and traveling along the river corridor and moving largely undetected across the state.”
The Missouri Department of Conservation has even assembled a Mountain Lion Response Team to investigate sightings or killings of mountain lions in the state.  

Kirk Wayman, KXCVM


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