Once upon a time, spotting a mountain lion was a lot like sighting Elvis-no matter how much you insisted it was true, your tale would likely be greeted by shaking heads and a lot of eye-rolling. Not anymore. People are seeing lions everywhere, it seems, and finding proof to back up their claims. Most of the evidence comes in the form of scat that is identified through DNA or through the body of a cougar that has been hit by a car or shot by a hunter. In Omaha last fall police and zoo officials went one better when they captured a 7-foot, 108-pound tom alive- the first confirmed cougar in the eastern part of the state.
The lion was shot with a tranquilizer dart and then hit by some pellets from a police shotgun near one of Omaha’s busiest intersections during the capture. Officials say they believe the cougar traveled along the Platte River and up Big Papillion Creek, which goes through the city. Most likely the big cat feasted on rabbits and dogs along the way.