Iowa Mountain Lion?

February 20, 2010 by  

Many of you may have received amazing text messages with pictures of mountain lions in Iowa over the lat year. Are they real? In fact, an Iowan hunter shot one this last year. This instills fear in many of us. My mother, who lives in a somewhat remote area outside of Des Moines, got her car stuck in the snow at the bottom of her long gravel drive late one night this winter. She later confessed to me that as she made her way through the drifts on her way back to her home she had one thought in her mind, mountain lion.

Mountain lions are on there way back. They used to live all over the US. They became virtually extinct any area east of the Rocky Mountains over the last century.  However, since the mid seventies, poisoning  practices used to control the species have stopped. The result is a subtle and gradual increase in the mountain lion population. Are you in danger? Likely not. Mountain lion sightings in Iowa are extremely rare. I have a client who lives in a remote area in Iowa and has confessed he  has a mountain lion in his area who frequents the wood pile in his backyard and claims there are deer carcuses to substantiate this claim. I believe this is most likely accurate. However, most Iowans do not need to worry. Mountain lions are still so extremely rare and usually never attack humans unless their target is moving, which triggers the predator instinct. This is why stories of mountain lion attacks in Colorado usually involve a bicyclist or someone jogging. They will mainly feed on roadkilled deer and the most easily accessible food source.

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