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Cougars In Oklahoma

Mountain lions (Puma concolor), also commonly called cougars and pumas, are not officially recognized as Oklahoma wildlife. However, cougars have been spotted throughout the state, as far east as Tulsa, Vinita and Grand Lake, and officially documented on many occasions. Locations of documented cougar sightings and encounters listed on the ODWC website (Oklahoma Department Of Wildlife Conservation) include Tulsa, Osage, Tillman, Noble, Grady and Cimarron counties. Cougars can be dangerous to have around, killing wildlife and pets, and on occasion attacking humans.

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Mountain Lion Control In Oklahoma

Mountain lion populations are supposedly, officially, only found in thirteen states, however, as man has moved farther into their territory cougars have been displaced and have reacted by expanding their range into other areas, including Oklahoma. Mountain lions are known to roam very long distances and some of the cougars captured or killed in Oklahoma were found to have tracking collars originating as far away as the Black Hills of South Dakota - indicating that not all sightings are released "pets".

The laws are confusing regarding hunting, trapping and shooting cougars in Oklahoma. But, there are other alternatives. Wildlife Whisperer Ned Bruha has encountered Oklahoma mountain lions on several occasions.

Oklahoma Livestock Attacked By Cougars

According to the Oklahoma Department Of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC), evidence of cougars in oklahoma, particularly the western half can be traced back to 1852. Mountain lions commonly prey on livestock such as goats, sheep and cattle. The photos shown below of the skull and rear area of a heifer are an example of such attacks.

The first photo is representative of the many goats killed by mountain lions in Oklahoma. The second photograph to the right is picture of a cow that had been attacked by an oklahoma cougar as well. Note the claw marks on the cow where the cougar planted its teeth into the anus area, and then attempted to dig into the hide with its claws in order to take it down.

skull of a goat attacked by a cougar
injury on cow from an attack by a panther as observed by Ned Bruha

This cow's photo was taken at least two weeks after the said attack. The cow was protecting a calf, and obviously got in the way.

Feral Dog Attacks

Feral dog attacks are frequently blamed on mountain lions in Oklahoma, as well as the rest of the United States. Please note that a feral dog pack will not typically be able to defend fresh kills or drag them out of harm's way. Dogs will attack mountain lions in different areas of the body. If you lose cattle, sheep or pets to an attack, shave the dead animal's fur off and take pictures. This work will greatly assist us in identifying the animal that attacked yours. Without your animals fur removed, claw and bite marks will not be easily distinguished. If you cannot or will not do this work, hire a veterinarian or sheep shearing business to do so.

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