Dec 2 2009 7:08PM
A mountain lion is taken down in town... bringing up a (slew) of different questions.
Since Friday night... Thousands of people have watched our video... of a Bismarck Police officer shooting down a mountain lion in city limits.
And even more viewers have an opinion about what happened.
Reporter Amber Schatz finds out more about the animal itself... and how the situation was handled.
(NATS 911 CALL) (Stephanie Tucker/furbearer biologist) 2:50 "This is the first time we've actually found the animal in town, we get pictures, we get tracks, a lot of them turn out to not be mountain lions." (NAT SHOT) Friday in north Bismarck... It turned out it was
(Tucker) :52 "I guess my first reaction was really? and my boss Randy Kreil was like really." A surprise for many... Furbearer biologist Stephanie Tucker performed the "animal autopsy" yesterday
She says the mountain lion was a healthy one to two year old male... typical of wandering long distances
(Amber Schatz) 39:52 "Animal experts say it isn't surprising that a mountain lion would travel through Bismarck, what is surprising is actually spotting one, especially so close to a residential area." (Stephanie Tucker/furbearer biologist) 2:14 "We live along a major river corridor which is a good travel corridor for these types of carnivores, it's not at all unusual that it would wander through or into Bismarck because of the type of habitat we live in." Controversy surrounds this mountain lion... the first to be killed in city limits in the state some question why the animal wasn't traquilized and relocated..
(Tucker) 4:25 "There's a lot of serious risks when talking about tranquilizing animals, it's not as simple as some people think." (4:20) "You have to get really close to tranquilize animal, it was at night, the dart hits, it takes 2-3 minutes to take effect... 3:50??? "Relocation isn't an option, limited amount of habitat for animals....." And they weren't taking any chances in a heavily populated area
Since the story broke... strong opinions are swirling around the water cooler and on the internet..
Game and Fish workers say there is almost always a strong divide on mountain lion issues..
5:06 "There's always a safety concern with mountain lions, they're large, they have the potential to injure people, it's never happened in North Dakota, but has happened in California... 5:23 "they're charismatic, so the people who think they're beautiful which they are, ya know, "oh why would you want to hurt this beautiful animal." As for whether this means the population is growing... or if this could happen, again... it's hard to track
6:33 "Never say never, again we have the potential mountain lions can turn up all across state of north dakota and we've had mountain lions from South Dakota black hills turn up in nd, they have potential to go long distances in a short amount of time." Amber Schatz, KX News.
Game and Fish biologists say the family who called in the mountain lion did exactly what they should have by calling authorities.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org