Police and conservation officers are looking for a mountain lion that was sighted on several security cameras in Rapid City over the past several days.
The lion was photographed once again early Wednesday morning on a security camera, and in the southeast part of Rapid City, the lion hunt is on.
Conservation officers are combing the neighborhoods around the intersection of Parkview Drive and Gemstone Drive in Rapid City for any signs of the lion. The officers are particularly focused on several creek bottoms that run through the area. The officers say the tactic they’re using is to think like a lion.
“Kinda think like he would. If it’s a hot, sunny day, where are you goint to be? You’re going to be where it’s cooler, somewhat more shade. So, we’re just kinda checking some areas that would potentially provide that thermal cover for them for today,” said Chris Dekker, Conservation Officer with the Department of Game, Fish, and Parks.
John Kanta, also with the Game, Fish, and Parks Department, said the lion probably entered the city from the south.
The woods along Skyline Drive are one of the main avenues for wildlife coming into the city. Kanta thinks the lion may have followed those woods along Skyline Drive and branched off along one of the creek bottoms that run off to the east.
And one of these creek bottoms might provide ideal cover for a lion. Conservation Officer Chris Dekker thinks it might be a young lion that may not have a lot of experience with the lay of the land.
“It probably just got kicked out of his area by the adults, and he’s off on his own, trying to find his new area, now,” said Dekker.
Dekker warns people living in the neighborhood to be on the alert, and to keep an eye on their pets.
“We live in mountain lion country out here in the Hills, anywhere you are there’s always the possibility that there’s mountain lions out there. If you do happen to run across one, don’t run away, make yourself big, slowly back away and get into a safe area, and then give us a call right away,” he said.
And the best way to do that is to call 911.