WINNEBAGO, Nebraska | The Winnebago Wildlife and Parks Department said there was confirmation of a mountain lion Thursday in Thurston County, Nebraska.
The Thurston County Law Enforcement Center in a Friday Facebook post shared the Winnebago department's summary that there was photo confirmation of a mountain lion. Additionally, a deer that was killed was indicative of mountain lion actions.
The deer was found near the Bureau of Indian Affairs Road 51.
"The Winnebago Wildlife & Parks Department is issuing a restriction on entering or coming near any woodland or grassland until further notice. Please be mindful of children and pets if you live near these areas," the post said.
The post said mountain lions rarely interact with humans, therefore "encounters with mountain lions are rare and the risk of an attack is infinitely small, averaging about six per year in North America."
Mountain lions, also known as cougars, are native to Iowa, but were driven out of the state by landowners in the 1880s.
They have been seen more often recently in Siouxland, including in late summer 2017, when a man got a picture of one with a motion-sensor camera east of Linn Grove, Iowa.
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In June 2017, the first confirmed female mountain lion in Iowa was killed by an Iowa Department of Natural Resources officer, after it climbed in a tree near Galva. That mountain lion in Ida County was the fourth killed in Iowa in recent years, and the most recent since in 2013 in Sioux County.
The Winnebago department said mountain lions are solitary animals, very territorial and their ranges can vary in size from 10 square miles to 370 square miles.
People who have a sighting of the mountain lion are asked to report to the Wildlife & Parks Department, at (402) 878-2362.