Thursday, May 14, 2015

Another Mountain Lion - Laclede County 2015

A mountain lion was euthanized by state police after being struck by a vehicle on I-44 in Laclede county Tuesday May 12th, near the Gasconade River bridge at the 144 mile marker.  The animal was a subadult male (meaning it was not fully grown) weighing approximately 130lbs and untagged. Further investigation shows it was not someone's pet or zoo animal and apparently had a taste for raccoon.
The mountain lion troopers had to euthanize on I-44
Photo Courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation
Laclede county is due south of Camden county and where the lion was struck is about 50 miles southeast of the Lake of the Ozarks.  It is likely the animal came from the bootheel of the state where sightings are more common, such as in Reynolds county near the National Scenic Riverway. There have been two official sightings in Pulaski county (another neighboring county) in the past 12 years but this is the first documented lion in Laclede county.  It is my conjecture that the lions are using the Gasconade River basin to migrate. The Missouri Department of Conservation still maintains there is no "breeding population" of mountain lions in Missouri but this is the 54th incident since they began documenting them in 1999.

MDC maintains a team of biologists to investigate mountain lion incidences when involving public safety or "substantial physical evidence".  The Mountain Lion Response Team was established to help track activities and observations and evidence can be submitted to""