Sunday, Mar 04, 2007 - 12:04:12 am CST
The carcass of a mountain lion kitten has been recovered in the northern Panhandle and is evidence that the species might be reproducing in the state
The road-killed female was recovered Feb. 28 about 10 miles east of Chadron along U.S. 20 near the Dawes-Sheridan county line. Conservation Officer Walt Meyer recovered the cat, which weighed 26.3-pounds and measured 49-inches long from nose to tail. Biologists believe the mountain lion was less than 6 months old.
It's is the first confirmation of a mountain lion cub and the first evidence of reproduction in Nebraska in modern times, said Sam Wilson, furbearer program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. A female mountain lion could have a home range as large as 200 square miles, so it is possible that the cub was born in South Dakota and traveled to Nebraska with its mother, Wilson said.
"However, due to the kitten's age and the restricted movement of female mountain lions with kittens, I think it is likely the kitten was born in Nebraska," he said.