Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 3:25 pm
DES MOINES - A deer hunter shot a mountain lion near Marengo Monday.
Raymond Goebel Jr. of Cedar Rapids was hunting four miles southwest of Marengo.
This is the first confirmed sighting in Iowa in more than five years, and the fourth mountain lion killed in Iowa.
At about 3:30 p.m. Goebel looked over his left shoulder. Something caught his eye about 15 yards up in a tree.
Brad Baker, state conservation officer with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said the mountain lion weighed about 125 pounds, and appears to be a female from the wild.
Ron Andrews, state furbearer biologist with the Iowa DNR, said this is the first confirmed female mountain lion in Iowa. All other lions confirmed in Iowa were young males.
Mountain lions have no protection in Iowa.
Iowa DNR does not encourage people killing a lion they come across, but it is not against the law.
There had been reports of a mountain lion in the Tama area that Andrews investigated and he said the evidence did not point to a mountain lion, but it was difficult to find because the investigation occurred in the summer. Andrews receives two to three reports of mountain lion sightings per month from across Iowa, but finding confirming evidence is difficult.
"Our experience investigating these reports has found that more than 90 percent are mistaken identity for bobcats, yellow-colored dogs or deer, which are the same color as mountain lions," Andrews said.
Goebel said he plans to have a full body mount of the mountain lion.
The DNR will receive the stomach contents, and tissue and blood samples for DNA analysis.
CORRECTION: This story published Dec. 15, 2009. On Dec. 16, 2009, DNR confirmed that the mountain lion was a male, not female as originally reported.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org