MDC confirms second photo of mountain lion in Shannon County

MOUNTAIN VIEW Mo – The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Mountain Lion Response Team has confirmed a second trail-camera photograph of a mountain lion taken near Mountain View on the property of Shannon County landowner John Collins. This latest photo, taken Sept. 4, follows a confirmed trail-camera photo taken at the same location on July 29.

MDC reported earlier this week that a Texas-County landowner shot a subadult male cougar on his property on Sept. 5. MDC also recently confirmed a trail-camera photo of a mountain lion taken on private land Aug. 23 in Oregon County.

MDC Biologist Jeff Beringer, a member of the Response Team, said that the photos from Shannon County and Oregon County are not of the mountain lion shot in Texas County.

“The Texas-County cat had a shortened tail with no black tip,” Beringer explained. “The mountain lions in these photos have full-sized, normal tails.”

Based on limited photographic evidence, Beringer said MDC does not know if the Shannon County and Oregon County photos are of the same mountain lion. He added that widely scattered mountain-lion sightings have been confirmed in Missouri and likely will continue. Evidence to date indicates these animals are dispersing from other states to the west of Missouri. The most extreme evidence of this dispersal occurred in early 2011 when a mountain lion that was killed in Connecticut was genetically traced to South Dakota. MDC has no confirmed evidence of a breeding population in Missouri.

MDC receives many reports each year from people who believe they have seen mountain lions.

“We encourage these reports, but we can only confirm those for which there is physical evidence such as hair, scat, footprints, photos, video, a dead cougar or prey showing evidence of mountain-lion attack,” said Beringer. Reports of sightings can be sent to mountain.lion@mdc.mo.gov, or by contacting Beringer at 573-882-9909, ext. 3211, Rex Martensen at 573-522-4115, ext. 3147, or Shawn Gruber at 573-522-4115, ext. 3262.

Beringer added that mountain lions are naturally shy of humans and generally pose little danger to people, even in states with thriving breeding populations. Although mountain lions are protected by law, Missouri’s Wildlife Code does allow people to protect themselves and their property if they feel threatened. For more information, visit www.mdc.mo.gov and search “mountain lion.”