A mountain lion which was found in Kansas earlier this year may be part of a group from South Dakota / Western Nebraska.
The mountain lion was found back on January 31st in rural Rooks County. It had been shot and killed.
According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism their biologists had tissue samples from the mountain lion sent to the United States Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, Montana.
The mountain lion was confirmed to be a male during necropsy by department biologists , not a female as initially reported. It has a 99.8% probability of belonging to the South Dakota/Nebraska breeding population which includes animals sampled from the Black Hills of South Dakota and Western Nebraska.
Reports of confirmed mountain lion sightings have increased over the past decade in both Kansas and Missouri, but experts say there are no signs that the animals are reproducing in either state.
Most of the mountain lions, also known as pumas, panthers, catamounts and cougars, that make their way into the states are males that wandered away from the Black Hills, Badlands and northwestern Nebraska.
Mountain lion populations were devastated by hunting and a shortage of prey in the early 1900s, but researchers say they are recolonizing in the Midwest.