The MDC photographed this mountain lion and fresh elk kill at Peck Ranch in Southeast Missouri. The MDC stocked the elk in the conservation area starting three years ago. The agency sticks with its story that Missouri does not have a resident mountain lion population.
(Courtesy of dailyjournalonline.com)
The Missouri Department of Conservation has confirmed the presence of a mountain lion on the Department’s Peck Ranch Conservation Area in northwest Carter and eastern Shannon counties. The confirmation is based on trail camera photos taken Feb. 2, and the carcass of an elk calf found on the conservation area that showed feeding consistent with that of a mountain lion. Elk are among natural prey for mountain lions.
According to MDC’s Mountain Lion Response Team, mountain-lion sightings have been occasionally confirmed in Missouri and likely will continue. Evidence indicates these mountain lions are from other states to the west of Missouri that are passing through in search of mates or territory. MDC has no confirmed evidence of a breeding population in Missouri.
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 allows people to protect themselves and their property if they are threatened.