The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks said today that it has verified the live sighting of a mountain lion in the state for the first time.
KDWP officials said a mountain lion was photographed by a deer hunter northwest of WaKeeney, in Trego County. They said the hunter was in a tree stand when the mountain lion materialized near a pile of corn the man was hunting over.
The hunter grabbed his camera and took multiple photos as the lion approached within 10 feet of the tree stand. The animal looked up at him, then moved out of site, officials said. They said the encounter lasted less than a minute.
This is only the second wild mountain lion verified in Kansas since 1904. In November 2007, a young male mountain lion was shot by a landowner in Barber County.
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There is no open hunting season for mountain lions in Kansas, officials said. Landowners may kill wildlife on their premises, including mountain lions, for damage to property or for being in or near buildings.