Posted: Mar 11, 2013 4:03 PM
A radio-collared mountain lion that traveled from South Dakota was killed in the Crazy Mountains in Montana.
The adult female mountain lion was the third from a South Dakota study to make its way deep into Montana within the past two years, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Leif Holman of Melville, a freshman at Sweet Grass County High School in Big Timber, killed the cat on Feb. 21 while hunting with his father. They did not know the cougar was carrying a radio-transmitter collar until it was on the ground, according to FWP.
Holman gave the collar to an FWP wildlife biologist when he reported the kill. The transmitter was traced back to South Dakota State University and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks.
An SDSU biology student confirmed that the mountain lion was captured and fitted with a radio collar last year near Jewel Cave National Monument in the Black Hills National Forest, 55 miles southwest of Rapid City, S.D. Biologists followed the lion for about a week before radio-tracking receivers lost the signal from the collar. The female cat weighed 76 pounds, was two or three years old and never had kittens.
According to an FWP biologist, it is not unusual for young male lions to disperse from their home ground in search of a territory they can call their own. A 420-mile trek is long for young males, he said. "For a mature female, it's pretty amazing."