YANKTON, S.D. (KELO) – In eastern South Dakota you may be used to seeing wild animals like deer and coyotes, but lately people in one Yankton neighborhood have seen this mountain lion roaming around their homes.
“It was on one day that somebody, my neighbor on my west, and said, ‘Jane, you had a mountain lion in your backyard out,'” Jane Pugh, a Yankton resident said.
Jane Pugh’s neighbor says the big cat passed through her yard here and down to the riverside. A week later, her neighbor to the east, caught this picture of the mountain lion on his trail camera just below her house on the river.
“There’s been a lot of sightings, and especially paw prints and stuff, people see out by the lake, and that’s been going on for quite a few years,” Pugh said.
Josh Delger, the regional wildlife supervisor for Game, Fish and Parks says seeing mountain lions on this side of the river is becoming more common.
“Down by Yankton especially, we get a little more thicker cover and a lot of deer. It is a good, suitable habitat for a mountain lion,” Josh Delger, regional wildlife supervisor said.
Most come from the Black Hills and Wyoming. While some may decide to make a home in the eastern part of the state, it’s rare for the wild animals to attack humans.
“It’s very, very uncommon for that to happen. It’s usually in populations where cats are overpopulated,” Delger said.
Pugh says after the sighting she’s taking more steps to keep her dog safe.
“I’ve not really heard anything of them threatening people or animals, but as we know, we all have to be careful of whatever the wild animals are,” Pugh said.