Thursday, December 18, 2014

Was That a Wild Mountain Lion Killed in Kentucky?

A 125-pound male mountain lion was killed by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife authorities in a residential areas of Bourbon County on Monday.

There is a decent chance
this is NOT an escaped animal, but a wild lion. If so, this will be the first wild Mountain Lion seen in Kentucky in well over 150 years.

A wild Mountain Lion was shot and killed in Chicago some years back -- it had migrated out of the Black Hill of South Dakota to Wisconsin, and then Illinois.

Another wild Mountain Lion, also from the Black Hills of South Dakota, was hit and killed by an SUV in Connecticut back in 2011.

A wild Mountain Lion was confirmed to be in Iowa earlier this year and other populations are know to be in Nebraska and Indiana.

As with previous long-distance traveling Mountain Lions, the Kentucky lion was a young male -- the kind that are driven out and forced to find new territory on their own.

It could be weeks before DNA analysis positively identifies the origin of this animal, but officials say it looks to be in such good shape they doubt it traveled far. That said, how many missing backyard Mountain Lions could there be in Kentucky? If this is an escaped animal, someone is likely to end up talking pretty quickly.

The map below is from National Geographic, and shows known Mountain Lion migrations.


Sean said...

Also, it is strange that the map does not show the Panthers migrating north from Florida toward Georgia. I have a family member who is a Mountain Lion researcher. He says they expect the two populations to expand until they meet up.

5string said...

I thought the cat appeared to be in fine condition from the photo I saw. Good muscle, nice fur, no ticks in the ears, looked as clean as a chipmunk.