Here are a few of the top stories on mountain lions from recent news articles. For more frequent updates, visit MountainLion.org and read the news daily.
Mountain Lion Confirmed in Indiana
One of the Department of Natural Resources' motion-activated cameras snapped a couple photos of a mountain lion in southern Indiana last week. The DNR says they had been receiving more sightings reports than usual - the majority are never actually of lions - but due to the increased volume of calls, they decided to investigate further and set up some trail cameras. The DNR released a few of the photos that clearly show a mountain lion sniffing around Greene County. Officials cannot yet say if it was released from captivity or a wild lion, and if wild, from where it dispersed. DNA evidence is needed to determine how closely related the cat is to western populations of lions. Mountain lions are protected from trophy hunting in Indiana but can be killed by a resident if they are found preying on pets or livestock, or considered a threat to public safety.
After losing some of his goats in the night, a farmer in Colorado decided to set a trap to catch the animal responsible. He put the dead goats inside a shed with a propped open door that would spring shut and lock in the culprit. Assuming he would catch a coyote or two, the man was surprised to find a mountain lion trapped in the shed the next morning. The cat was believed to be about two years old, likely new to hunting without mom and still looking for a home range. After speaking with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and concluding that lions are "extremely dangerous," the owner shot and killed the cougar with his hunting rifle. The Colorado DOW came and picked up the carcass the next day and will reimburse the man for his livestock losses.
Public Input for Wyoming Mountain Lion Hunting Season
The Wyoming Game & Fish Department will host a series of public meetings to discuss mountain lion hunting seasons and quotas in the northeastern part of the state. Complaints from hunters having a harder time finding deer have shaped the idea that lions are over-abundant and create too much undesired competition. The first meeting will take place at Newcastle High School on Tuesday, May 25th. Coincidentally, on the South Dakota side of the border about 40 miles away, Custer State Park is also looking to expand lion hunting.
20 Lions is Enough to Open a Hunt in Custer State Park (SD)
South Dakota's Custer State Park, located just south of the Black Hills (near the southwest corner of South Dakota bordering Wyoming), may open a mountain lion hunting season this next winter. State officials are saying the majority of public input - from 355 comment cards - supports a trophy season on lions for recreational enjoyment. The park's resource program manager Gary Brundige, however, says there may only be 15 to 20 mountain lions in all of Custer State Park. Up until five years ago lions were protected in South Dakota due to nearly being driven to extinction in the state. While they are now hunted annually in the Black Hills, they have yet to recolonize the eastern half of the state and can be killed at any time by ranchers.