The young male cougar was killed on May 9, 2011 after he was seen crossing several suburban backyards in Kearney. He almost certainly had been following the Platte River–one of the major dispersal corridors that can lead young cougars from the Rocky Mountain Front and recolonized areas such as the Pine Ridge in the NW corner of the state. (John Laundre writes about these wooded ”pathways” leading eastward across in the Great Plains in his new book, PHANTOMS OF THE PRAIRIE.) Many dispersers have died where a major developed area such as Kearney lies aside the route.
Fear mongering and hype surrounded his death. Perhaps if left alone, he would have returned to the river and continued east into Missouri.
To learn more about the death of this cat, visit our blog archive. Click on articles from May 2011 in the ”Archives” section or under Nebraska in the “Categories” section.
KHAS-TV News 5
Kearney school takes mountain lion mascot
Jul 8, 2012
A mountain lion killed last year in Kearney will become the mascot of a new elementary school in the central Nebraska city.
The Kearney school district acquired the carcass and plans to have it stuffed and mounted. Then the cougar will go on display at Kenwood Elementary.
Superintendent Brian Maher says he thinks the stuffed cougar will be an educational tool and an artful presence at the school. Donations are paying for the taxidermy.
Police killed the mountain lion in May 2011 after it was spotted roaming through several yards one morning.
State wildlife officials studied the 2-year-old cougar and didn’t find anything wrong with it. The skull is on display at the Game and Parks Commission office in Kearney.