DALLAS COUNTY, IOWA — The Iowa DNR has confirmed a mountain lion sighting Monday night in rural Dallas County. The big cat was captured by a trail camera, owned by a central Iowa man who uses it to look for deer on his property.  “That thing’s taken maybe 60,000 pictures,” he said. “I see lots of deer and sometimes bobcats, but that’s the first time I’ve ever seen something like this.” The property owner believes he’s seen mountain lion tracks before, but this is the first time he’s seen one on camera.

While still extremely rare, there were two confirmed sightings of mountain lions in Iowa last year. The first was on the north side of Des Moines in October and the second in Poweshiek County in December. Before that, there were six separate confirmed sightings in Iowa in 2019, two of them in Polk County.

The DNR says while there is no breeding population of mountain lions in Iowa, young males are known to wander great distances in search of food, mates, and new territory. The closest breeding population of mountain lions is likely located in the Black Hills area of South Dakota, some 600 miles away from central Iowa.

“There have been no reports of this animal causing any problems,” said Vince Evelsizer, a furbearer biologist at the Iowa DNR, “It will likely do all it can to avoid human contact.”