The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issued a correction today, that the mountain lion shot near Marengo was a male, not a female. The conservation officer who first examined the animal believed it to be a female, but further examination found the animal was a male.
A hunter looking for deer shot something that hasn’t been documented in Iowa in modern times. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources confirms the a female mountain lion was shot near Marengo. State furbearer biologist, Ron Andrews, says Raymond Goebel Junior of Cedar Rapids spotted the animal in a tree Monday.
Andrews says Goebel called to see if he could legally shoot the animal and found out he could, and then shot it. He says it is the first confirmed female mountain lion in Iowa. Andrews says it is unusual to see a female, though he says they do know that one collared female from the Black Hills of South Dakota did range some 920 miles. So he says it is unusual to see a female mountain lion in Iowa, but not out of the question.
Three male mountain lions have been killed in Iowa in recent years. Andrews says it’s unlikely the female would have mated with a male to raise more of the animals. Andrews says that would be “very lucky” based on experience if that had happened as it has been five years ago this month that the last mountain lion was verified in Iowa. He says the opportunities for male/female interaction among the mountain lions are slim.
The animal was estimated to weigh about 125 pounds. Andrews says people in the area should not worry about mountain lions. He says there’s no reason for panic or concern about the animal, as he says the mountain lion will most often want to avoid humans and will sense their presence before the humans sense them. Andrews says the chance of and encounter with a mountain lion are “pretty darn slim.” Andrews says if you run across a mountain lion, it should not be tough to get it to run away.
“If you would have a surprise encounter, all you have to do is take control. You’re in charge, you look big, you act mean, you scream, you holler. And that critter is gonna move on, he doesn’t want anything to do with ya,” Andrews says. Andrews says he receives two to three reports of mountain lions per month, but says finding evidence to substantiate the sightings is tough. Andrews says the verification of the female mountain lion will lead to more talk about the animals.
Andrews says the “rumors are going to run rampant now” as he says the D.N.R. will be accused of releasing the animals, although he says that does not make sense. Rumors have circulated for years that the D.N.R. released mountain lions to try and cut the deer population. Andrews says the D.N.R. does plan to do a D-N-A analysis of the animal. The hunter says he plans to have the whole animal mounted. Mountain lions are not legally protected in Iowa, but the D.N.R. does not encourage people to shoot them.