Second Cougar Killed in Nebraska Panhandle

David Hendee

A western Nebraska woman shot and killed a mountain lion who was watching her free a goat stuck in a fence.

The incident happened Friday about five miles southeast of Chadron in Dawes County — 25 miles and three days after Game and Parks officials shot and killed a young male cougar on a farm about seven miles northwest of Hemingford.

The Chadron-area mountain lion was an 82-pound female that appeared to be in good condition, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

A Game and Parks investigation determined that the Chadron landowner was justified in killing the animal to protect herself and her livestock. The woman was not identified.

The landowner had photographed a mountain lion in her yard six days earlier, contacted the agency and started keeping a rifle close at hand. When the woman was trying to free the goat, she noticed a mountain lion watching from the grass at the edge of the pen.

The woman shot and killed the cat with the rifle she carried as she did chores. She then contacted the state agency to report the shooting, as required by law.

Mountain lions are a protected species in Nebraska unless they are in the act of stalking, killing or consuming livestock, or are determined to be a threat to human safety.

The carcass will be sent to agency headquarters in Lincoln for further review.

The Chadron mountain lion was the 113th confirmed observation in Nebraska since 1991. It was the 11th confirmation this year. Eighty-one of the confirmed sightings have been in the Pine Ridge area near Chadron.

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