The Missouri Department of Conservation has confirmed that an adult elk was killed by a mountain lion in Shannon County on Sept. 12.
Reports of a mountain lion sighting were sent to MDC staff early on Sept. 12, and members of MDC’s Large Carnivore Response Team responded to the area later that same day to confirm the sighting. Trail camera images were used to verify that a mountain lion was in the area and had returned to the elk carcass to feed. “Mountain lions are natural predators of elk, and this scenario is nothing to be concerned about,” says MDC Furbearer Biologist Nate Bowersock. “Here in Missouri, we have an abundance of natural foods for mountain lions. While we do receive questions regarding livestock, there has never been a confirmed instance of a mountain lion killing livestock in Missouri.”
Mountain lions are known to traverse through Missouri, but there is no known breeding population in the state. MDC staff collected genetic samples from the site, which are in the process of being analyzed to provide further information about the animal, such as the sex of the animal. Most confirmed sightings of mountain lions in Missouri are males.
MDC continues to monitor confirmed mountain lion sightings in the state, and this sighting marks the 117th confirmed sighting since 1994. Suspected mountain lion sightings can be reported to MDC by emailing photos, video, or physical evidence to [email protected]. More information about mountain lions in Missouri can be found at this link on the Missouri Department of Conservation website.
(Photo by Mo Dept of Conservation)