Thursday, October 28, 2004

Dead cougar likely had an owner

Dead cougar likely had an owner

Posted on Thu, Oct. 28, 2004


The Wichita Eagle

A mountain lion was found dead shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday night in Shawnee County .

Authorities with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks said the young animal showed signs of being pen-raised.

"It was a young one, only 50 to 60 pounds, and had been declawed and its canine teeth had been filed down," said Rob Ladner, Region 2 law enforcement supervisor for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

Ladner said a preliminary exam also showed that the animal had been dead for several days before its body was dumped in southwest Shawnee County , near 89th and Auburn Road .

Because a KWP officer had been on that road about five hours earlier, officials believe the mountain lion had been dumped there to appear that it had been hit by a vehicle.

"We have not been able to verify if this animal belonged to a few people in the area who have permits for mountain lions or if it might have belonged to someone who was keeping one illegally without a permit and then dumped it there," Ladner said. "They did try to make it appear like the animal was crossing the road."

Authorities determined the mountain lion had no broken bones -- which would have been expected in a vehicle death. There were no gunshot wounds or bite marks.

Although the last confirmed wild mountain lion kill in Kansas was in Ellis County in 1904, another wild mountain lion was found dead in Oklahoma this past June, 40 miles south of Arkansas City -- apparently struck and killed by a train.

And earlier this year, there were unconfirmed reports of a mountain lion spotted on the KU campus.

KWP authorities said Wednesday that there are some privately owned mountain lions in Kansas , and they occasionally escape or are let go.

At a meeting today in Atchison , the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission will discuss regulations restricting or prohibiting the possession of mountain lions.

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