Mountain Lion Sightings Increasing

Reports of confirmed mountain lion sightings have increased over the past decade in 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.

Almost all of the mountain lions found in Kansas and Missouri are males.

There have been more than 50 confirmed sightings in Missouri since 1994, while Kansas has reported 10 during that period.

Associated Press information from: The Kansas City Star