Mar 22 2007 6:46PM
A 12-hundred pound cow was killed in a pasture near Tioga last week, and wildlife officials suspect it was a mountain lion that attacked the animal.
Tioga-area rancher Francis Franson discovered the dead cow last Tuesday and notified authorities who tried to track the suspected mountain lion.
Erma Franson says a plane was used in the tracking attempt, but no sign of the cat was found.
John Paulson of the USDA Wildlife Service office in Bismarck says research by his staff indicates the attack on the large cow has all the signs of a mountain lion...
(John Paulson, USDA Wildlife Service) "Some of the more typical signs that we look for is the attack site. In this case it was on the back of the neck. It's also pretty common for the mountain lion to open the chest cavity and eat the heart, liver, and lungs area first and that is what happened with this particular cow."
Paulson says there had been sightings of a mountain lion in the Tioga area in recent weeks, and a confirmed track about eight miles from the site of the attack on the cow.
He says this is the first case of a mountain lion killing domesticated livestock in many years in North Dakota.