For the first time in almost two years, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has verified the presence of a mountain lion in that state.
The sighting resulted from a trail camera photograph taken in Labette County, located in the Southeast corner of Kansas. When notified of the event KDWPT staff visited the area and confirmed the photograph's authenticity.
KDWPT investigates all mountain lion sightings to determine their validity whenever evidence, such as tracks, a cached kill or a photograph exists. KDWPT Biologists assume that most sightings are of transient young males, coming from established populations in nearby states.
"It's not uncommon for young males to travel great distances looking for home ranges," said Matt Peek, KDWPT furbearer biologist. "So far, these animals appear to be passing through, rather than staying and establishing home ranges in Kansas."
Kansas' indigenous mountain population was originally eradicated by humans in 1904. In 2007, the first mountain lion known to have returned to that state was killed by a deer hunter in Barber County. This particular lion sighting is the 10th verified by KDWPT since that 2007 killing.
Mountain lion confirmed in Labette County, southeast Kansas.