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June 19, 2019

Wild roaming mountain lion shot dead in North Dakota’s capital

January 9, 2019
Local law enforcement look over a mountain lion that was shot and killed Tuesday morning at the Bismarck Municipal Ballpark in Bismarck, N.D. (Mike McCleary / AP)

A mountain lion that wildlife officials had been tracking was gunned down Tuesday after wandering into an area not far from downtown Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota.

Mountain lion sightings in cities are extremely rare — the last one killed within Bismarck’s borders was about a decade ago. Officials believe the young male had been traveling along the Missouri River in search of new territory and possibly followed a deer into the city.

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Downtown Bismarck is in the proximity of the Missouri River and “is an excellent travel corridor for young lions seeking new territory,” said Jeb Williams, wildlife chief for the state Game and Fish Department. “He just got off track a little bit.”

Cops got a call early Tuesday morning from someone reporting seeing a lion in a residential backyard. Law officers and wildlife officials responded to the area and followed the animal’s tracks through two city parks and a ballfield, reported The Associated Press.

“Due to the danger and proximity to homes, the mountain lion was dispatched after it was located,” said police spokeswoman Lynn Wanner.

In October, a coyote trapper is believed to have caught the same mountain lion, likely between 1 and 2 years old and weighing 100 pounds. Wildlife officials sedated the beast and attached an identification ear tag and GPS-tracking collar before releasing it back into the wild.

But the lion slipped the collar off, which made officials think it had died since it wasn’t moving.

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