The Missouri Department of Conservation announced Friday that saliva left on a dead elk in Shannon County confirmed a female cat was in the area.
Conservation biologist Laura Conlee says the partially eaten elk was found in February 2016, and evidence confirms the mountain lion killed it.
DNA from the saliva indicated the cat originated from Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska.
All previous mountain lions confirmed in Missouri have been males.
Conlee says there is no evidence that Missouri has a breeding mountain lion population.
Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com