Cougar On The Move

Cats are notoriously picky about what they eat, but it also seems they can be very particular about where they live. How else to explain the journeys of one radio-collared cougar that traveled nearly 700 miles and crossed at least four state lines in the process?

The mountain lion in question was found dead last May by a railroad worker near Red Rock, Okla. As unusual as it is to come across a mountain lion, what really caught the attention of the officials who found the cat was that it was originally part of a study being conducted by a biologist in western South Dakota.

In February 2003 the lion, then less than a year old, was treed by hounds, shot with a tranquilizer and fitted with a radio collar by South Dakota State University wildlife professor Jonathan Jenks.

Jenks lost track of the cougar last September when its radio signal indicated it was in Wyoming's Black Hills, 58 miles from where it was originally collared. Between September and May the lion crossed hundreds of miles of terrain, before being hit by a train in Oklahoma. The distance covered by the cat more than doubles the previous documented record.

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