A dead calf with injuries consistent with a large cat kill prompted a call from a farmer to Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources. While relatively uncommon in Iowa, the call came in a couple days after the calf was discovered when a landowner spotted the culprit.
As DNR officers arrived on the scene, the decision was made to safely dispatch the animal via lethal action due to the animal’s proximity to both humans and livestock.
“White-tailed deer and other wild animals, particularly the weak or injured, are often the preferred prey. But in this situation, it appears this mountain lion has targeted young livestock and livestock producers are well within their rights to protect their livelihood,” Bruce Trautman, deputy director with the Iowa DNR said in a release.
While the specimen remains as the first confirmed female cougar in the Hawkeye state, there have been 21 other confirmed cats in the state since 1995. Despite a lack of evidence that the cat in question had produced any young, the DNR plans to test teeth and tissue samples for genetic analysis.
As each specimen is tested genetically, officials in Iowa have found that in all other cases where mountain lions were killed, South Dakota and Nebraska have been confirmed as the genetic source for cats found roaming in the state.