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Hello, kitty

March 11, 2012

The likelihood of bumping into one is low, but we do have mountain lions here in western Nebraska.

Last weekend, Bugman and I found some possible cat tracks at the bottom of a gully in Cedar Canyon. They were unlikely to be dog tracks, since we didn’t see any claw marks and they were in an area we had to squeeze past brush and accumulated tumbleweeds to get to. The tracks were quite weathered, though, so we can’t be sure.

In January 2011, Bugman and I found what might have been mountain lion scat on a tree-covered slope across the road from the Scotts Bluff National Monument visitor center.

The cats are definitely here.

This Nebraska Game and Parks Commission webpage has some great information about mountain lions in Nebraska. A study begun in 2010 reported in 2011 that at least 13 mountain lions were living in the Pine Ridge in northwest Nebraska at the time of the study. A fairly recent (non-confirmed) sighting of a big cat within Scottsbluff city limits was reported in August 2010. I used to be able to find online the policy NGPC uses when dealing with mountain lions, but I can’t locate it now.

All this leads up to a few photos a colleague of mine, Jack Preston, caught with a trail camera the evening of March 3 in the hills behind his home, east of Stegall Road in Scotts Bluff County (about 15 miles straight southeast of my house):

Hello, kitty. Nice kitty!

Copyright 2012 by Katie Bradshaw, mountain lion images copyright Jack Preston

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 7, 2013 9:16 am

    Thanks for sharing the photos, Katie. The track is dog–symmetrical placement of the toes, bilobed rear of the heel pad–are canid characteristics.

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