Officials urge caution after mountain lion sighting

Local News

The surveillance video of the mountain lion in the video above is from a previous sighting in South Dakota.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Although you might not expect it, mountain lion sightings are not that rare across South Dakota and oftentimes aren’t even reported.

Many of the sightings involve younger mountain lions, like the one seen in Brookings last week.

Mountain lion sightings are always a concern, especially if they are in or around communities.

“We try to urge people to be cautious you know if we get a report of a lion, confirmed sighting, we just want people to be aware and understand that there could be a lion present,” said Emmett Keyser, Regional Supervisor for Game, Fish and Parks.

Normally, mountain lions are just passing through.

“They are not setting up shop in any particular community anywhere in eastern South Dakota, but many times they are passing through on their way to some place else,” Keyser said. “They do use river corridors. oftentimes to travel so the Big Sioux River corridor would be a perfect place for a lion to move up and down.”

There are precautions you should take if you see a mountain lion.

“Maintain distance. If you’re surprised by a mountain lion, you know, don’t run. Maintain your position. Back away slowly. Try and make yourself big, oftentimes if you’re wearing a coat you can put that coat up over your head and make yourself appear to be larger. Oftentimes we hear people talking to the mountain lions in a nice calm voice, but backing away slowly is a good idea,” said Keyser.

“Keep all pets indoors. If possible take them out on a leash. Just keeping track of them, especially in the dusk and dawn times,” said Bailey Jogalberaith, Officer Supervisor for Brookings Animal Control.

It is also important to report a sighting to Game, Fish and Parks or the police department so they can alert the community.

“No immediate danger or immediate threat to the public exists, but we want people to be aware,” Keyser said.

While mountain lions may not be as common in eastern South Dakota, the Game, Fish and Parks Department estimates that there are around 300 to 400 mountain lions in the Black Hills.

You can find more information about mountain lions on the Game, Fish and Parks website.

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