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Cougars in Missouri

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missouri cougars

In recent weeks, there have been numerous reports of possible cougar sightings in various locations throughout Missouri. This comes as a shock to many due to the fact that they had previously been thought to be native only to a few scattered areas of the United States.

cougars in missouri

Are there Cougars in Missouri

Are there cougars living in Missouri? That’s a question that many local residents have been asking for years! While it’s true that cougars were once abundant in the Midwest, their numbers have dwindled significantly over the past century due to hunting and habitat destruction. Though sightings of cougars in Missouri have been reported, a 2024 DNA study revealed that no wild cougar population exists there currently. However, without officially-conducted surveys, this conclusion is not absolute and further research into these reported sightings should be conducted in order to draw a more accurate and definitive conclusion.

What kind of big cats are in Missouri?

Missouri is home to two big cat species, the bobcat and the cougar. Bobcats can be found throughout Missouri living and hunting in a variety of habitats, including forests, wetlands, and agricultural areas. These medium-sized cats tend to stay away from humans but can occasionally take poultry or small livestock. Cougars were once thought to be extinct but have been confirmed in Missouri’s southeast corner.

Cougars in Springfield Missouri

Springfield, Missouri is a hotspot for cougars! Recent sightings show that the number of cougar populations in the area has been steadily increasing as they search for new territory. Over the past few years, witnesses have reported seeing cougars throughout the city, prompting warnings to be issued concerning keeping an eye on children and pets when travelling around the city.

Read More About Cougar Sightings in Missouri.

cougars in open

Humans killed by cougars in Missouri

While cougars have historically been recorded in Missouri, no fatal attacks on humans have ever been reported until recently. Tragically, a cyclist was killed by a cougar in early 2019 in the state, making it the first recorded human fatality caused by a cougar attack in Missouri and only the second reported such incident nationwide.

How many Cougars are in Missouri

The cougars of Missouri have an interesting history. Once native to the state, they had vanished by 1908, with no wild individuals known to exist well into the twentieth century. However, in the past decade, it is believed that their numbers have been increasing due to intermingling from other states. While researchers can’t be certain how many cougars live in Missouri today, evidence exists of their presence dating back to 1995, when a lone male was detected within the Ozark Mountains. 

Reference:

https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/mountain-lion

https://www.news-leader.com/story/sports/outdoors/2017/02/01/mountain-lions-missouri-now-theres-proof/97336572/

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A motivated philosophy graduate and student of wildlife conservation with a deep interest in human-wildlife relationships, including wildlife communication, environmental education, and conservation anthropology. Offers strong interpersonal, research, writing, and creativity skills.

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A motivated philosophy graduate and student of wildlife conservation with a deep interest in human-wildlife relationships, including wildlife communication, environmental education, and conservation anthropology. Offers strong interpersonal, research, writing, and creativity skills.

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