A mountain lion unintentionally caught in a foothold trap in Dawes County was tranquilized and released by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on Jan. 27.
The mountain lion, a female kitten weighing approximately 50 pounds, appeared to be in good health. After the release, the kitten followed tracks of an adult mountain lion and another kitten that biologists believe were the mother and a sibling.
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. High pelt prices for bobcats and an increased effort to trap them may have contributed to the recent incidental captures of mountain lions in Dawes County, according to Sam Wilson, Game and Parks’ carnivore program manager.
“The trapper did the right thing by calling,” Wilson said. “In situations like this, where a mountain lion has not entered a town or come into conflict with people, we may attempt to release it if it can be done safely and the mountain lion is not injured.”
Game and Parks requests fur harvesters immediately contact the agency if a mountain lion incidentally is trapped. Anyone with trail-camera photographs or other evidence of mountain lions should contact the agency at 402-471-0641.