The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had to deal with an unlikely predator on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, in Ida County, according to a news release.

The first sign of this predator’s presence came when a farmer near the town of Galva reported finding a dead calf with what looked like wounds sustained by a large cat, the DNR said in its news release. Then, 911 responded to calls after the farmer’s neighbors got a glimpse of a mountain lion near the farm.

DNR officers responded to the scene, where they found the mountain lion in a tree staring down at the crowd of people and barking dogs surrounding it.

According to The Des Moines Register, mountain lions – for the most part – come from western South Dakota and Nebraska, both of which have natural lion populations. However, they are thought to be quite uncommon in Iowa.

“White-tailed deer and other wild animals, particularly the weak or injured, are often the preferred prey. But in this situation, it appears this mountain lion has targeted young livestock, and livestock producers are well within their rights to protect their livelihood,” said Bruce Trautman, deputy director with the Iowa DNR.

Here is the news release from the Iowa DNR, and their explanation of what happened and why they took the actions they did:

Today, officers with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) were called to dispatch a mountain lion from a farm near Galva, in northeast Ida County.

The situation arose after a neighboring livestock producer discovered a dead calf that showed evidence consistent with an attack by a large cat late last week. Repeated calls were placed to 911 Monday evening by a nearby landowner who discovered the cat.

DNR officers use lethal action as the last resort option in these situations and every effort is made to humanely remove the animal.

“White-tailed deer and other wild animals, particularly the weak or injured, are often the preferred prey. But in this situation, it appears this mountain lion has targeted young livestock and livestock producers are well within their rights to protect their livelihood,” said Bruce Trautman, deputy director with the Iowa DNR.

This is the first confirmed female mountain lion in Iowa. There is no physical evidence that she has produced any young. The Iowa DNR will collect teeth, tissue samples for genetic analysis and examine the stomach contents of the 88 pound animal.

This is the fourth mountain lion killed in Iowa and the most recent since 2013 when a four year old male was shot in Sioux County. Since 1995, there have been 21 confirmed mountain lions in Iowa.

Western South Dakota and Nebraska have been the genetic source for the lions killed in Iowa.

Mountain lions are not listed as a furbearer and have no protected status in Iowa.

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