Nebraska Mtn. Lion Shot

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Nebraska Game and Parks Commission conservation officers are looking into the shooting of a mountain lion south of Chadron on Saturday.

A 16-year-old boy shot and killed the 97-pound female cat when it appeared on a game trail and approached within 15 steps of the hunter. Mountain lions are a protected species in Nebraska.

The boy was in a group of hunters that was driving deer on U.S. Forest Service land. The group reported the incident to officials at Chadron State Park.

The mountain lion was reported to have shown no fear of the boy.

In a related note, an e-mail hoax circulating in Nebraska contains photos claiming to be of mountain lions in the Fort Calhoun area. Sam Wilson, the Commission's nongame mammal/furbearer program manager, said the trail-camera photos actually are of cats in South Dakota.

The photos show an adult female cat and two nearly grown young. An orange tag is visible on the adult’s ear. Wilson said the tags are placed in study animals as part of the ongoing mountain lion research project being carried out in the Black Hills.

For accurate information about mountain lions in Nebraska, go online to the Commission's Web mountain lion page: