Hays Man Kills Mountain Lion Lounging in Tree

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS – A Hays man says he recently shot a 200-pound adult mountain lion that was lounging in a tree about 40 feet from his front door — further evidence the big cats are moving into Montana’s prairies.

Frank Weigand said his pet Pekinese alerted him to the lion in late October and he shot the animal twice out of concern for the safety of his 14-year-old daughter and his 12-year-old niece, who frequently play in the front yard.

“I first thought it was a raccoon, but then I saw that long tail coming down,” said Weigand, who added that the mountain lion did not seem to be scared of anything.

Fort Belknap Fish and Game officers measured the cat at 28 inches tall and about 68 inches long from nose to tail. They estimated the female lion was 2 to 3 years old.

Weigand said the lion’s stomach contained house cats, which means it probably had been preying in the area for some time.

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