Iowa Department of Natural Resources officials will be conducting tests in the next several days to determine how a young male mountain lion made it into the state. The animal was spotted early Friday in a tree in Blencoe in western Iowa’s Monona County.

D.N.R. wildlife biologist Dale Garner says the animal was shot after officers investigated. “They responded to the scene and the officer made the determination that the lion posed a threat to people, so it was shot by the officer and killed,” Garner explained. Garner says the shooting of the animal has raised a lot of concern.

He says they’ve seen a lot of comments on blogs, with people are saying “why does everything that comes into Iowa have to be killed.” “But people have to also understand, they’re not protected under Iowa code, so we have no jurisdiction as a department over the mountain lion, so anyone can shoot the animal without having any type of penalty,” Garner says.

He says mountain lions usually run away once they sense humans are near them. The animal killed near Blencoe will be mounted and used as a display somewhere in Monona County.