Black Hills Lion Shot In Bluegrass State

Aug 25, 2015

The state of Kentucky is about 1200 miles from the Black Hills but that might not be too far for a mountain lion to roam.   A Black Hills mountain lion turned up in the Bluegrass State recently.

The 5 year old male was treed by a dog near the town of Paris, Kentucky and local officials shot the animal citing public safety concerns.  Later genetic testing showed the big cat is related to the Black Hills population.

John Kanta is a wildlife expert with the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department.  He says he has not been able to speak with officials in Kentucky about this lion.   But he says mountain lions are known to travel long distances.  

This Black Hills lion is waking up after being radio collared in a Game Fish and Parks funded study in 2007. Lions like this have been shown to roam thousands of miles outside of the Hills.
Credit Charles Michael Ray

“One in particular is a mountain lion that we radio collared here in the Black Hills, it was hit by a train in Red Rock, Oklahoma.   So pretty interesting from the last location we had here in the Hills it took about 9 months then it turned up in Oklahoma,” says Kanta.

Kanta says radio collared lions from the Black Hills have gone as far north as Saskatoon, Canada.  He says male lions travel to find a mate and a suitable habitat to hunt.