Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 21st, 2011
This photo of a mountain lion was taken January 12, 2011, by a Chesterfield, Missouri resident. Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation.
This is the the first confirmed sighting in St. Louis County, Missouri, since 1994, and the 13th in the state since the animal was declared extinct in Missouri.
Mountain lions were largely driven from the state by deforestation and hunting by the 1920s. The state hasn’t had a breeding population in decades. The closest groups of cougars live in Nebraska and South Dakota.
The camera that captured the images of the mountain lion was set up by Chesterfield [Missouri] resident Garrett Jensen, a hunter and outdoors enthusiast. Jensen installed the Reconyx HC600 camera on a tree to monitor wildlife in the woods behind his home near Olive Boulevard and White Road.
The camera, which is triggered by heat and movement, automatically snapped a series of photos about 2:30 a.m. on Jan 12 . Jensen was out of town at the time and discovered the images after he returned home and retrieved the memory card and combed through 2,000 shots.
“I was like, ‘Oh, my God,’ I really couldn’t believe it had happened,” said Jensen, 36, the owner of a tree service company. “I feel really lucky. … I called everyone close to me and said, ‘You’re not going to believe this, I caught a mountain lion on my camera.’”StLToday.com