While Kentucky is known for its vast amounts of wooded lands you might expect to see a wildcat rooming the country side this day and age. But according to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife an officer from their department has shoot and killed one of these animals. This all took place at a Bourbon County farm this past week. While the mountain lion was not an immediate threat to the residents of the farm it was caught in a tree and could not get down. The officer said that he thought shooting it was the only humane thing to do, but some will question his actions. But the department is standing by the officer saying that he did the right thing. It was getting late in the evening and the officer feared for the safety of those who lived in the nearby town.
This Puma was the first spotted in the area since the Civil War making this cat very rare. While these animals used to be very populous over the entire state of Kentucky, over trapping and hunting has all but wiped them out. While there are healthy populations in some parts of the United States you almost never see these animals outside of those regions. This animal must have traveled many miles to get to Kentucky and it is unclear why the cat decided to come there. Some speculate that these animals are being driven out of their homes by encroaching urban sprawl. This has led to more encounters of these animals and people’s pets have gone missing in some of these areas. Many people really fear these massive cats and do their best to avoid any contact with them.
These cats rarely attack humans but they are often found killing livestock such as cattle and sheep. There have only been 22 deaths involving these big cats over the course of 120 years. These impressive animals can grow up to 180 pounds or more and have the ability to travel thousands of miles undetected by humans. This particular cat probably came from a state west of Kentucky.
Image via Tambako the Jaguar at Flickr.com