The Missouri Department of Conservation
that the animal in the photo to the right is indeed a mountain lion
It was photographed September 10 and 11 by a wildlife cam on public land near Eminence
According to MDC, "widely scattered mountain-lion sightings have been confirmed in Missouri and likely will continue."
But there's a key reason why we probably shouldn' be too worried yet.
(And we got this stuff from the Cougar Rewilding Foundation
and the Mountain Lion Foundation
These feline visitors to Missouri are mostly males dispersing from western areas such as the Black Hills area of South Dakota.
They're hunting for sexy females to breed with.
But the females haven't arrived yet; generally, they disperse much more slowly.
So in order for any kind of mountain lion population to take hold in Missouri, a male and an intrepid female will have to somehow find each other in Missouri and start a family.
No evidence that it's happened yet.
In the meantime, the MDC wants you to keep the following in mind:
Mountain lions are naturally shy of humans and generally pose little danger to people, even in states with thriving breeding populations. Although mountain lions are protected by law, Missouri's Wildlife Code does allow people to protect themselves and their property if they feel threatened.
They keep coming.