If Missouri doesn’t feel any remorse for exterminating this exquisite feline killer, it seems that the man who shot when he saw the glow of its eyes does.
Bob Littleton recently recanted his story that he had originally told investigators about the death of the mountain lion in Ray County. He claimed that the cat was about to attack hunter James McElwee, so he shot it to valiantly save his friend. Turns out, McElwee actually shot it while he was hunting raccoons.
Here’s the true story, according to KMBC Channel 9:
“He followed his dogs up a draw and shined a light up into a tree and saw eyes that were too far apart for a raccoon,” said Missouri Department of Conservation Protection Division Chief Larry Yamnitz. “When he realized it was a mountain lion, he was afraid to run, thinking it might attack him.”
It’s only OK to shoot members of protected species like mountain lions when the cats ravage livestock, domestic animals or threaten humans. Littleton seemed to doubt it would be convincing enough to claim that the little lion was doing any of those, so he concocted a more dramatic tale rife with imminent danger.
Still, McElwee is able to claim self-defense, and neither man faces any charges, Yamnitz told KMBC. He added that it would have been better to tell the truth from the beginning.
Maybe in the cat’s next life, he’ll learn to avoid hunters by just hiding up in a tree. Oh, wait …