Tuesday, 21 October 2014

NEWSLINK: Dead female cougar found in northeast Nebraska

October 11, 2014 4:55 pm • By The Associated Press

The body of an adult mountain lion discovered in north-central Nebraska was the first female found outside the traditional cougar range in the western part of the state, according to state wildlife officials.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reported that the cougar's body was found along a road near Ericson, in Wheeler County, on Thursday. The big cat may have been hit by a vehicle, the commission said.

The cougar's gender is significant, because it could mean the establishment of a breeding population of the big cats in east-central Nebraska.

The only female mountain lions previously identified in Nebraska have been well west of Ericson, in the Pine Ridge, Wildcat Hills and the central Niobrara River valley near Valentine, said Sam Wilson, the commission's carnivore program manager.

Until last week, cougars found outside the western range have been young males driven out of their home territory by older males and in search of compatible territory and a mate. They often travel along rivers and streams unnoticed for long distances.

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