Thursday, November 09, 2006

Eighth lion shot in SD cougar hunting season

By Ryan Woodard, Journal Staff Writer

A hunter took the eighth lion of the 2006 mountain lion hunting season Tuesday evening, and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks had to euthanize an almost totally blind lion Wednesday in Custer State Park.

The eighth lion of the season was a 92-pound, 4 to 5 year-old female, and was shot Tuesday afternoon, according to GF&P regional supervisor Mike Kintigh. The location of the kill was not available.

The lion, which was fitted with a radio collar by GF&P in March of this year, was shot by a hunter actively hunting lions using a predator call, and it was “healthy in every aspect,” Kintigh said.

Kintigh said the lion apparently had kittens that are 9-months old and about 70-pounds. GF&P won’t pursue the kittens.

“Given their age and size, we have no intention of trying to bring them into captivity,” he said.

Tuesday’s kill was not only the season’s eighth lion, but also the fourth female, meaning hunters are halfway to the season limit of eight females. The Black Hills season ends either Dec. 31 or when eight females or 25 total lions are killed.

Another lion was killed today by the GF&P, although the animal will not count against the season harvest limit. The lion, an older female with no sign of dependent kittens, was found in Custer State Park and appeared to be totally blind.

It is the second blind or nearly blind lion the GF&P has had to euthanize this year. The carcass of the animal is being transported to Brookings for immediate necropsy Thursday.

Contact Ryan Woodard at 394-8412 or news/top/news01ab.txt

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