A mountain lion’s been shot just across the border from Sioux City. There are plenty of reports of sightings of mountain lions, or pumas, around the tri-state area of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. Most are not confirmed, but one called in to South Sioux City police was the real McCoy. Officers with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission today (Tuesday) shot a mountain lion. Bruce Morrison is Assistant Administrator of the Wildlife division. This morning about 8:45 the conservation officer in northeast Nebraska got a call from the police department about a mountain lion in South Sioux City, and responded to find there was indeed a big cat, in a residential area. A deputy from the Dakota County Sheriff’s department who’s been trained as a sniper shot the lion, according to the agency’s policy. Morrison explains the cougar got an automatic death sentence once it was spotted in town. If the animal had been out in the country it’d have been observed and confirmed, but left aloner. The department’s policy is to err on the side of safety in a case where people may be involved, as in a residential area, but if it’s out in a rural area they’ll leave it. Morrison says the agency’s had no reports of livestock, pets or anything else being killed by predators in that area. He says they get 30 to 35 reported lion sightings a month and 99-percent turn out to be housecats, yellow labs, bobcats or other cnimals…though they’ve confirmed 16 mountain lions in Nebraska since 1990. This one was a male mountain lion weighing about 120 pounds.
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