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Wild mountain lion captured about 125 miles south of Fulton

Wild mountain lion captured about 125 miles south of Fulton

January 8th, 2012 in News

In this photo provided by Linda Ritter, a young mountain lion sits in a cage trap outside the Reynolds County courthouse Thursday, in Centerville. The Department of Conservation says a Reynolds County commissioner reported that a 122-pound mountain lion was trapped in a live trap he set on national forest land to catch bobcats, coyotes and raccoons. The mountain lion was taken to the Current River Conservation Area for examination and released.

A 122-pound wild mountain lion was trapped Wednesday about 125 miles southeast of Fulton.

Jim Low, a Missouri Department of Conservation spokesman, said the young male mountain lion was trapped unharmed in a cage set on Mark Twain National Forest land near Centerville in Reynolds County.

The trap was set by Reynolds County Commissioner Wayne Henson, who has a hobby of trapping wild animals. He uses an old deer hide to catch bobcats, coyotes, raccoons and other mammals that he skins and sells to a fur company.

But on Wednesday, he caught something he had not expected. Henson was surprised by a large mountain lion, also known as a cougar, in the trap snarling at him. Henson said the mountain lion was extremely aggressive and screaming at him.

Henson said he immediately recognized the animal as a mountain lion but he didn't know what to do with it. He knew it was illegal to shoot it and the only way to get the mountain lion out of the trap was to open the door. He didn't want to do that, fearing the snarling mountain lion would attack him.