Friday, November 20, 2009

S.D. officials kill cougar for being within city limits

G&FP kills lion captured near Storybook Island

Emilie Rusch Journal Staff | Posted: Friday, November 20, 2009 4:00 am

A 2-year-old mountain lion was found in a city neighborhood near Storybook Island on Thursday morning.

South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks regional wildlife manager John Kanta said they received calls starting about 6:30 a.m. from residents who spotted a lion in the west-side neighborhood just east of Storybook Island. Officers didn't initially see anything, but about 9:30 a.m., they received another call from a Janet Street resident who said the lion was in a tree in her front yard.

The healthy 120-pound male cougar was tranquilized and taken back to the GF&P office before being euthanized, Kanta said.

"Our protocol states if a lion is within city limits, we'll remove the lion -- especially in a case like this where it's deep within the city in a heavily populated area," Kanta said. "We just don't take any chances."

The last mountain lion found within city limits was shot in the Robbinsdale area in August, a 1-1/2-year-old male cat that weighed 76 pounds.

"We don't see any rhyme or reason," Kanta said. "It comes in spurts."

Contact Emilie Rusch at 394-8453 or emilie.rusch@rapidcityjournal.com.

http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/news/article_6e92575c-d55e-11de-9a96-001cc4c03286.html

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Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org

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