SHANNON COUNTY, Mo. – Conservation officials confirmed a rare sighting of a mountain lion in rural Missouri earlier this month.
The Missouri Department of Conservation received a report of a possible mountain lion sighting on Sept. 12 in Shannon County, nearly three hours southeast of St. Louis.
Agents did not confirm the exact location of the mountain lion, but confirmed its presence due to an attack on an adult elk.
Agents reviewed surveillance footage and determined that a mountain lion was roaming around the area and feeding on an elk. FOX 2 shared a cropped photo of what MDC officials shared of the mountain lion after preying on the elk.
“Mountain lions are natural predators to elk, and this scenario is nothing to be concerned about,” says MDC Furbearer Biologist Nate Bowersock. “Here in Missouri, we have an abundant of natural foods for mountain lions. While we do get questions regarding livestock, there has never been a confirmed instance of a mountain lion killing livestock in Missouri.”
MDC says mountain lions are known to travel through Missouri, but there is no known breeding population in the state. MDC staff collected genetic samples from the site and is trying to confirm the gender and more information on the lion.
This is just the 117th confirmed mountain lion sighting in Missouri since 1994, according to MDC. If you spot a suspected moutain lion, email photos or videos of evidence to MDC’s Large Carnivore Response Team at email@example.com.