Authorities search for mountain lion in Franklin County

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 7:48 PM CST
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FRANKLIN COUNTY (KMOV) - A mountain lion is still at-large after being hit by a vehicle Monday night in Villa Ridge, Missouri.

The Missouri Department of Conservation searched for the big cat Monday night and Tuesday Morning along Old State Highway 100 near Highway T, but they have come up empty so far. Employees at the local feed store said the mountain lion ran into the trailer of one of their trucks.

“It darted out, and the trailer hit the animal, and so he turned around because he realized it wasn’t a deer or something more typical,” Straatmann Feed and Transfer Inc. employee Austin Straatman said.

Patrice Pyatt with MDC said they still don’t know the lion’s gender. However, most mountain lions spotted in Missouri are males who came from the West in search of new territory.

“We don’t have any indication that there is a risk to the public right now,” Pyatt said. “We just ask that if someone does come across the cat, to remember that it is injured and to not approach it.”

There have been about 100 mountain lion sightings in Missouri since the early 90s, but there have only been two others in the St. Louis area since 2011. The last one was in 2017, when a mountain lion died after being hit near Warrenton, Missouri.