Mountain Lion Shot in Sioux City

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A young male mountain lion perched in a tree in a residential neighborhood at the northwest edge of South Sioux City was shot and killed Tuesday morning by a Dakota County sheriff’s deputy, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reported.

The young cat, estimated to weigh between 100 pounds and 120 pounds, was reported to the South Sioux City Police Department early Tuesday morning and animal control personnel were dispatched to the area. The cat was spotted in a maple tree in the front yard of a residence. Sheriff’s deputies contacted Conservation Officer Eric Wiebe of the Game and Parks Commission at approximately 8:30 a.m. and the animal was killed around 9:30 a.m.

The incident marks the 17th confirmed sighting in Nebraska since 1992. Previous sightings had been reported in the Yankton, S.D. area, as well as in northwestern Iowa.

The mountain lion was transported to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission headquarters in Lincoln where a necropsy will be preformed to determine the animal’s age and health status.

Mountain lions, also referred to as cougars or pumas, were once common to Nebraska, but were extirpated by the end of the 19th century. Sightings have become more common in Nebraska over the past dozen years as the cats expand their range due to human encroachments along the front range of the Rocky Mountains and the Black Hills of South Dakota.

There have been no reports or incidences of mountain lions attacking humans in Nebraska. If you encounter a mountain lion, do not flee. Doing so can trigger the animal’s attack instinct. Remain calm and face the animal, maintaining eye contact. Raise your arms above your head to appear larger, and slowly back away. If you are attacked, fight back, using whatever weapons possible, such as rocks or sticks. Mountain lions can be deterred through vigorous defense.