Mountain Lion Sighting Confirmed, Likely Roaming for Territory

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission confirmed the sighting of a mountain lion near Mammoth Spring in northern Arkansas.
Mountain Lion Sighting Confirmed, Likely Roaming for Territory

How far would you travel to find food, territory or perhaps a smokin' hot cougar to rev your engine?

For one mountain lion, apparently several hundred miles isn't too far.

Yet another sighting of a mountain lion has been confirmed in Arkansas, this one from January and coming with a game camera image. You'd think with all of the game cameras being used in the country and specifically in the Southeast, we'd have more images of mountain lions. But they're pretty doggone savvy.

One didn't escape a game camera, though. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission confirmed the sighting of a mountain lion near Mammoth Spring in northern Arkansas. The image was captured in January and sent to the AGFC in May. Biologists were able to verify the photo and its location.

The photo came from private land near the Sharp and Fulton county line. It is the 14th confirmed Arkansas sighting of a mountain lion since 2010.

About those long-distance travels? Back in November 2014, according to the AGFC, a deer hunter shot and killed a 148-pound male mountain lion east of Hermitage in Bradley County. It was the first time a mountain lion had been killed in Arkansas since 1975 in Logan County. DNA from that animal revealed that it almost certainly came from a mountain lion sighted in September 2014 in southern Marion County.

According to lab results, the mountain lion killed in 2014 most likely originated in the Black Hills breeding population of Wyoming and South Dakota.

Whoa! That's a pretty doggone long trek even for a big cat.

“The mountain lion traveled from Marion County to Bradley County in about six weeks before it was killed," said Myron Means, AGFC Large Carnivore Biologist. "That shows you how far a mountain lion can travel in a short period.”

Mountain lions – also known as pumas and cougars – lived throughout Arkansas until about 1920. The AGFC offered bounties and hired trappers to control predators during 1927-29. At least 255 wolves and 523 bobcats were killed, but no mountain lions were taken. A number of mountain lion sightings in Missouri, Oklahoma and Louisiana also have been confirmed in recent years.

Mountain lions are solitary and elusive, and their nature is to avoid humans.

Featured image: Courtesy AGFC

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