FALLON — A Churchill County resident shot a mountain lion Thursday night after it attacked some ducks on his property.
But after the Nevada Department of Wildlife performed a necropsy on the cat Friday afternoon, it’s not the same mountain lion that took a goat last week near the Fallon RV Park west of the city.
“It was a 4-year-old male, about 110 pounds,” said NDOW spokesman Chris Healy. “It is not the one. There are no wounds (from gunshot) and it’s in good shape.”
The CCSO received a call and the Nevada Department of Wildlife was notified. The CCSO said the shooting occurred in the county southwest of Fallon.
As for the earlier sighting, CCSO was notified on Dec. 2 of a mountain lion in the RV park area, and a deputy who later arrived on the scene shot the mountain lion from a distance, wounding it.
Other residents in the area had also reported last week a big mountain lion roaming along the Carson River Corridor near McLean Road. Sherriff Ben Trotter said he has received a call from a resident who had videotaped a mountain lion in the McLean Road area.
Based on information from wildlife biologists and the game warden who works out of Fallon, Healy said more than likely two to three mountain lions are working the river corridor looking for food. Biologists estimate, however, there are fewer than five mountain cats in the valley. A similar study for the Carson Range estimate a total of 14 kittens, young adults and adult cats are spread out between Spooner Summit and the Mountain Rose area, a prime habitat for the animal.
Healy said some of the mountain lions may be having difficulty finding food because of the effects of this year’s drought, and that’s why they have been roaming the river area.
Healy also said young mountain lions tend to roam together in pairs.
The NDOW website also says “mountain lions are adapted to a wide variety of habitats and environmental conditions found in Nevada. They prefer dense cover or rocky, rugged terrain, but also occur in desert areas.”
Trotter said individuals who see a mountain lion near populated areas should call the CCSO at 775-423-3116 or the NDOW dispatch office at 775-688-1331 or 775-688-1332.