Nebraska's Game and Parks Commission announced that a young, possibly female, mountain lion was accidentally captured and killed in a leghold snare set by USDA Wildlife Services trappers.
The snare, apparently set to capture coyotes in a cattle pasture, did what many opponents to this capture method claim too often happens: it trapped an unintended victim, and was not properly monitored to reduce the cruel and inhumane suffering that the captured mountain lion experienced as it slowly died of thirst and starvation.
By the time the dead lion was discovered, it had already begun to decompose to the point the trapper could not determine if it was a male or female. Preliminary reports suggest a young female, but the carcass will be sent to a lab for further analysis.
During just 2013 in Nebraska, USDA Wildlife Services killed 347 wild animals captured in foothold traps, and another 98 with the use of neck snares. Traps are supposed to be checked daily, but even so, it does not guarantee a mountain lion accidentally trapped will not die as a result.
Back in 2008, over the course of just a few weeks, North Dakota reported the unintentional death of three mountain lions accidentally caught in bobcat snares.