Unintentionally Trapped Mountain Lion Euthanized in Nebraska

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A mountain lion unintentionally caught in a bobcat trap in Dawes County was euthanized by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on Dec. 26.

The responding conservation officer determined the mountain lion was pulling out the stakes that anchor the trap and would not survive if it escaped with the trap and stakes attached.

The trap had been legally set and the trapper called Game and Parks immediately upon discovering the mountain lion, as required by Game and Parks policy.

The mountain lion was an adult female weighing approximately 120 pounds. Tracks of two nearly adult-sized mountain lions were found in the area after the female was euthanized. The young mountain lions are likely the female’s offspring and were determined to be large enough to survive on their own, according to Sam Wilson, Game and Parks’ carnivore program manager. “This is an unfortunate situation,” he said. “We had hoped to be able to tranquilize and release any mountain lion that was accidentally trapped if it could be done safely and was not injured. With this animal in the process of pulling the stakes, a decision needed to be made immediately.”

Game and Parks requests fur harvesters immediately contact the agency if a mountain lion is incidentally trapped. Anyone with trail camera photographs or other evidence of mountain lions should contact the agency.