A female mountain lion that was caught in a bobcat snare in northwestern North Dakota might have played a big role in the increase in cougars in North Dakota over the past few years, a wildlife official says.
The state Game and Fish Department determined the lion to be at least 10 years old. Wildlife chief Randy Kreil said it might have been one of North Dakota's first resident females, and possibly responsible for several offspring.
"This could be 'Eve,'" Kreil said.
Kreil said the cougar likely was in the area for at least seven years. "Breeding females establish a territory and generally don't wander anymore," he said.
Wildlife officials tried to save the lion - even bringing it to Bismarck's Dakota Zoo - but the animal's injuries were too extensive, so it was euthanized.
Dorothy Fecske, furbearer biologist with Game and Fish, was examining the animal to determine its reproductive history.