A mountain lion cub was shot and killed under a farmhouse porch in northwest Nebraska this week.

A homeowner and a neighbor were working outside on a farm about five miles south of Whiteclay when they heard growling from under the porch, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The pair investigated and discovered the young cat. The cub was shot after the homeowner could not get it to leave.

The cat was a male, weighed about 40 pounds and was estimated to be 4 or 5 months old. It appeared to be in poor condition and likely had suffered earlier injuries, officials said.

Cubs typically begin to be weaned at around 3 months of age. They begin hunting small prey on their own at about 6 months.

The Sunday evening incident was reported to the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Department, which contacted commission conservation officers.

State law permits people who feel threatened by a mountain lion to shoot the animal. There have been no documented Nebraska cases of mountain lions attacking humans since 1991, when evidence surfaced that the big cats were recolonizing the northwest corner of the state.

Nebraska held its first mountain lion hunting season last year. Hunters killed five cougars. An additional 11 mountain lions were killed by other means, which prompted the commission to not hold a hunting season this year but launch a three-year study to get a better understanding of the state’s cougar population.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1127, david.hendee@owh.com

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