Mountain lions in Kansas? Possible but not likely

Jul 4, 2017

Credit Public Domain

By now, everyone has heard about a sighting of a mountain lion in the anything but mountainous terrain of Kansas, it probably wasn’t a mountain lion.

While a trail camera in Rawlins County in the far northwest corner of the state confirmed the existence of a mountain lion in September 2016, as the Wichita Eagle reports, it’s one of only a few confirmed sightings of the large cat in the Sunflower State over the past 100 years.

Over that time period, biologists have followed up on hundreds of reported sightings of mountain lions yet state biologists have confirmed only about 20 mountain lions in Kansas over the past 113 years.

In Oklahoma, even though there are upwards of 75 mountain lions repots a month, there have been only 25 confirmed cases in the past 15 years.

So biologists say the percentage of people who actually did see a big cat in Kansas is low, but it’s not impossible, particularly in southwest Kansas, which is within 100 miles of areas where isolated populations do exist, like New Mexico and Colorado.