Mountain lions in mid-MO: 1 rumor, 1 confirmed

This mountain lion was killed in northeast Missouri earlier this year. The cat was examined in Columbia.

Rumors are swirling in Osage County about a possible mountain lion eating cows.

"We did address one issue in Osage County, where a landowner was losing some calves, Rex Martensen with the Missouri Department of Conservation confirmed.

However, he said the rumors are just that| rumors. There are no confirmed mountain lion sightings in Osage County.

We sent a wildlife damaged biologist there, and there was nothing conclusive that would tell us a mountain lion was involved. Most of the evidence pointed towards coyotes," explained Martensen.

While there is no confirmed sighting in Osage County, Martensen said there is evidence of a big cat in neighboring Gasconade County.

On Thursday, the department received DNA results from fur it submitted. The report found the hair did indeed belong to a mountain lion.

Martensen said it is possible for that cat to travel to Osage County.

"They can easily travel 20 to 30 miles a day just wondering around, Martensen explained. So the Gasconade mountain lion could be easily seen in Osage County in just a matter of a day or two."

But he said people shouldn TMt worry.

"Mountain lions are very secretive and very shy creatures. They're easily dissuaded, simply by yelling at them or making yourself look big."

There have been at least 12 confirmed mountain lion sightings in Missouri this year. Some of those big cats were captured on camera. You can see photos of them here. The Missouri Department of Conservation also has a complete list of all the confirmed sightings or killings from the past couple decades on its website.