Wildlife and police officials in Valentine, Nebraska worked together to euthanize a mountain lion last week after the animal was captured on trail camera prowling the eighth-hole green of the Frederick Peak Golf Course. The photos prompted school administrators to cancel a tournament for high school girls that was underway at the time, and the lion was shot two days later.
According to the Nebraska Examiner, the sub-adult cougar weighed 103 pounds. None of the participants in the girl’s invitational encountered the lion during the competition, and the event was canceled at the mid-way point. The big cat was eventually located and put down on the north side of Valentine in an area where local police and a team of Nebraska Game and Parks biologists had already responded to multiple lion sightings.
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Carnivore Program Manager Sam Wilson told the Nebraska Examiner that the animal was killed “in accordance with the agency’s Mountain Lion Response Plan.” That plan calls for the removal of any mountain lion that poses a risk to people inside city limits.
There are populations of mountain lions living in the Pine Ridge, the Nioroba Valley, the Wildcat Hills, and in Nebraska’s Missouri River Bluffs, Nebraska Game and Parks states on its website. The most recent population survey, which was conducted in 2019 and applies only to the Pine Ridge population, counted 34 individual mountain lions. Lions can be hunted in the Cornhusker State from January 2 to February 29 in the Pine Ridge and the Nioroba hunting units.