The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has confirmed a picture taken by a trail camera in Madison County is that of a mountain lion.
The photo was taken on October 13th, just before 7:00 p.m., on a farm about 10 miles north of Winterset, in rural Madison County, Iowa.
According to the IDNR, of the more than 1,000 mountain lion sightings that have been reported since the year 2000, 95 percent were a case of mistaken identity — such as bobcats or dogs that share the same coloring.
IDNR also stated that three mountain lions have been confirmed killed in Iowa since August 2001. One of those was found in a Des Moines neighborhood in 2012.
According to IDNR's mountain lion brochure, "Mountain lions have no legal wildlife status in Iowa. That means that they can be taken and possessed by anyone at anytime as long as legal methods and means are used to take the animal. Mountain lions and black bears are not listed in the Iowa Code as designated wildlife species, because they were extirpated before fish and game legislation became prominent. The pioneers did not see their presence of any value to their own way of life, so basically persecution by humans brought their demise."