RIPLEY COUNTY, Mo – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has confirmed a photograph of a mountain lion taken by a trail camera on Oct. 27 in Northeast Ripley County.
According to MDC’s Mountain Lion Response Team, widely scattered mountain lion sightings have been confirmed in Missouri and likely will continue. Some sightings or photographs of mountain lions may be of the same animal, but MDC cannot confirm individual animals without DNA evidence. Evidence to date indicates these mountain lions are dispersing from other states to the west of Missouri. The most extreme evidence of this dispersal occurred in early 2011 when a mountain lion that was killed in Connecticut was genetically traced to South Dakota. MDC has no confirmed evidence of a breeding population in Missouri.
MDC receives many reports each year from people who believe they have seen mountain lions and encourage these reports. MDC can only confirm those for which there is physical evidence.
Reports of sightings can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by contacting local conservation agents or the Response Team at 573-882-9909, ext. 3211, or 573-522-4115, ext. 3147 or 3262.
Mountain lions are naturally shy of humans and generally pose little danger to people, even in states with thriving breeding populations. Although mountain lions are protected by law, Missouri’s Wildlife Code does allow people to protect themselves and their property if they feel threatened.
For more information, visit mdc.mo.gov and search “mountain lion.”