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Joined: 10/07/2003
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KU Cat

Interesting, right on campus at KU.

http://www.ljworld.com/section/citynews/story/147906

bitmasher's picture
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KU Cat

Looks like a cougar to me. Another good example that the big predators are fanning out and back into their native range. Although right on campus is amazing.

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Location: Missouri
Joined: 02/14/2004
Posts: 62
KU Cat

The latest word I've heard from someone there around campus is they now think it was a dog.

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Joined: 10/07/2003
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KU Cat

Dog, coyote, fox, large tabby - people seem to want to deny it at all costs, which I'm not sure I understand. There's certainly enough deer elbowing their way around town to support any number of cougars. Plus, lab says otherwise ( http://www.ljworld.com/section/archive/story/154617 ) - so do a lot of other people here that are actually seeing them.

The annoying thing is the rather arrogant belittling of witnesses by university types, that the witnesses don't really know what they're seeing. Reminds me of the same nonsense that was going on @ fifteen years ago with 'authorities' denying presence of bobcats, which were being seen all over.

May be one of those 'the wildlife needs to still be devastated by man's destruction' in order to keep research grants rolling in.

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Location: St. Paul, MN
Joined: 02/07/2004
Posts: 90
KU Cat

I had three encounters in one week with Cougars in the Black Hills of SD while deer hunting back in 01. That's a cougar no doubt about it.

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Location: Missouri
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Posts: 62
KU Cat

Yep, Todd,,,,,you are right, Research, Money and Fame. Notably "recognition" That is exactly what is going on.
Do you know how many captive cats there are in the KC area? Lots and how many do you think are not recorded? Several!

Now,,,,,lets use some common sense here.
You are right. There is enough deer to support a population of cats. That is right on the money.
Next, If there are cats in KC, why aren't there cats in rural missouri where the habitat is comparable to what cats use in other states. Granted there has been a couple confirmed sightings but, nothing like what is being said in the KC Metro area.
Then, If a body had a cat or two and got it bred? You'd have kittens before long. These kittens eat meat also. A cat needs a over a hundred pounds of fresh meat a week. Do you know how much this would cost to keep? Lots. Missouri has captive mammal regulations that make it tough for a person to keep a large cat. If a "cat lover" can't sell all their kittens? What do you think they'd do? Especially if they'd like to see wild cats in their area? I am not saying there isn't wild acting cats in Missouri or Kansas City. There may be but,,,,,,they are not born and bred in the wild.

There is no way of proving one way or the other. It's just opinion and common sense. I live in the most remote part of Missouri. We have plenty of deer and prey animals for cats. There is 38,000 acres of public ground that joins my farm. There is another 39,000 across the highway. There is a total of 161,000 acres of state owned land not counting the National Scenic Riverways and Pioneer Forest. The largest private landowner in the state. I am born and raised here. I hunt with dogs and have treed many coon over my life. I have hunted all night and treed several bobcats. I have trapped for 26 years. I have hunted bear in Montana and seen Mountain Lions up close. I have not taken a Mountain Lion personally but,,,,am friends with several people who have. Hunted with their dogs. I have never, repeat NEVER seen or treed a mountain lion.

There are no "wild raised" mountain lions in Missouri! A few captive turnouts maybe?

Yes, there are Bear. I have a video of a wild boar breaking in my folks chicken house and eating their chicken feed. They had baby goats and chickens within a few feet of the bear. It spent over 30 minutes eating and never bothered any livestock.

I repeat, there are no naturally accuring wild lions in Missouri.

My Gawd! eye roll

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Joined: 03/10/2002
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KU Cat

Ferguson, I don't know what makes you believe these are domesticated released mountain lions. If you have info, do share. A mountain lion is not your typical house cat!

Do some research on the extensive range for a mountain lion, and you will find that their habitat stretches from coast to coast in the USA, and from South America clear to Alaska.
http://www.mountain-lions.org/

Since Missouri has a healthy whitetail population, it stands to reason that mountain lions would find that very attractive. Even if you did not have any measureable population in the recent past, that doesn't mean they can't move back in. Also unless you have treeing dogs, its unlikely you'll ever see a mountain lion, they are extremely elusive. You may see tracks or kill evidence, but rarely the cat itself.

Colorado has a large mountain lion population, but few people have ever seen one. I've only seen one ever, and then it was at night along a road (and no it was not a released kitty!). So... just because I don't see them, does not mean they don't exist!

Here is a link to the Missouri Dept. of Conservation:
http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/nathis/mammals/mlion/
BTW the MDC does not have definite info, but does report many sightings.

News article about lion sightings in MO:
http://www.news-leader.com/today/0907-Cougarsare-156734.html

Another one:
http://www.easterncougarnet.org/KRCG_com%20-%20Mountain%20Lion%20Not%20D...

So I wouldn't be jumping to conclusions so quickly.

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Location: Missouri
Joined: 02/14/2004
Posts: 62
KU Cat

It seems you and I don't agree on much Big smile That's good. I like to debate.

I do have tree dogs. I also am close to MDC and I know all the biologists that make the statements. Actually a game warden I hunt with took a trip to Colorado this last winter and with his Missouri Coon Hound treed a cat and took it. His dog was first on track and first on tree. See we hunt here with dogs year around. Our dogs are generally well disciplined and in good shape. We don't have a dog training season or anything like that some other states have. Like I said earlier I hunt a lot and when I was in Montana last year and the year before I seen 3 big cats up close. I am good friends with a cat hunter out there too.
As far as the articles you see from MDC,,,,,They have never proven they are genetically from a wild bloodline. They have been young cats generally and most have had odd substances in their stomachs. The last one had a rotten squrril with maggots and something with black hair. That DNA testing hasn't got back yet, to my knowledge.

Habitat is a big word. It covers a wide description of land. I don't know if you've been to Mo or not but,,,,,it is not like Colorado as you all have told me in the other posts. I know big cats don't necessarily avoid humans but,,,,there are people and houses everywhere except where I live. Like I said in my earlier post. There are lots of big cats in captivity here. There are none where I live and all the cat sightings show up in highly populated areas. This is what is strange to me. I will admit,,,,,stranger things have happened but common sense would tell a body there would be a cat in this area if there are any in Missouri.

MDC is careful to call their confirmed sightings "wild acting cats" when they have proof and their is no evidence of captivity like declawed or pads worn off from concrete etc. Like I said, I'm pretty close to MDC and know how they think. When a person is in a position of a MDC biologist,,,,,they can't always speak their mind in public. Kinda like the old detective movie Dragnet,,,,Just the facts mam,,,,just the facts.

Yes there are mountain lions in Missouri. Yes, it is possible they have moved in from another state. Yes it is possible to have a breeding population in Missouri.
Is all this probable? NO.
I figure it will be before long though. Some of these young cats will learn to make it in the wild and get together sooner or later. Just like the bears have done ove the past 20 years. There may be a couple breeding sows resident in Missouri now. But,,,,,,we have had young boars migrate up from Arkansas for years.

This is a good topic to argue about because there is no way of proving one way or the other. It's all in what a body believes. Just like the lions,,,,,if you believe strong enough,,,,,,,,,yes you seen "it"
No Matter if it was truely a lion or not.

Here's a good example,,,,A man was riding a motorcycle east of where I work. He came in to the office to report the sighting of a mountain lion. I ask him specific questions. He said with all the sightings lately he thought he should report this one too. I have a bobcat mounted in front of the desk. He explained to me in detail it looked like the bobcat except was a little smaller with a long tail. The tail was as long as the body. This mounted cat would of weighed around 17 lbs. OK,,,,lets do some figuring here. This is the beginning of May. When does a cat have young? Probably in this country March or April. Now,,,,,the kittens eyes would barley be open this time of year at best. Now then. The cat that was killed on the highway in Fulton was aged "by biologists" to be a yearling or past yearling. It was sonsiderably larger than a bobcat. I have pictures of it on a tail gate of an agents truck and it is bigger than any bobcat missouri has ever had. By several pounds and in length. That is what most sightings are in Missouri. Even coyotes are mistaken to be other things. Right now coyotes are shedding and some have mange. What do you think a coyote with no hair on it's tail looks like?

Now as far as the cat on KU campus??,,,,,it does look like a cat in the photo. I agree but,,,,,with all the "want to" and hype of the media? It wouldn't be hard to falsify pictures. Especially digital photos. Who's to prove that it even was in Missouri? The professor said he had someone take his picture when he set the camera up? Well,,,,that tells me right there he was thinking ahead and knew there would be controversy. I would of believed a hunter or farmers picture more than his.

I guess you could say I'm a sceptic, yep! Wink

bitmasher's picture
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KU Cat

Like yetis, loch ness monsters, and mexican ufos, I'm sure their are a lot of nutty sightings in MO. They happen everywhere. However even the MDC puts the status of cougar in your area as unknown:

http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/nathis/mammals/mlion/missouri_mlion/

As I understand it, most cougar pets come from south american stock which can be genetically distinquished from north american stock. MO had two cats last year turn up run over that did not appear to be pets (had game in their belly) and turned up with north american DNA. Best evidence that you all have wild big kitties come back to your neck of the woods.

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Location: Missouri
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Posts: 62
KU Cat

They may be,,,,,,, but,,,,,,,,,I still believe, there is not a viable "wild" population that originated from wild populations from here or any neighboring states. As far as MDC,,,,,,They're just covering their bases.

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Location: Montana
Joined: 02/13/2005
Posts: 409
KU Cat

any of you hound guys wanna come tree and take a cat on my familys ranch are more than welcome just let me know.Its area 339 north of Helena Montana,our place is sorrounded by blm so we have a whole range to hunt,we have only taken 1 cat out this year and there are way to many of them,our area still has an open quota and im dead serious about this,if your willing to come up here and do it we will.