HomeTop StoriesRare, 'uninvited visitor' seen after dark outside Oklahoma home, video shows

Rare, ‘uninvited visitor’ seen after dark outside Oklahoma home, video shows

Police are warning residents of a small Oklahoma town to stay alert after a backyard camera captured a rarely seen predator prowling at night.

The “uninvited guest” was spotted outside a home in Drumright, police said in an April 16 Facebook post. Drumright, a town of about 2,500, is located about 40 miles southwest of Tulsa.

In the video, a mountain lion can be seen passing just feet from the house, strolling into the glare of a porch before disappearing into the darkness.

“Maybe that’s why all the cats here freaked out last night,” a local woman commented on the post.

Police contacted state wildlife officials about the animal, but officials reminded the public to remain cautious and use common sense.

“If you see the cat, do not attempt to approach it,” the post read.

The mountain lion report has been verified, Jerrod Davis, senior wildlife biologist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, told McClatchy News in a telephone interview. Although the department receives many reports throughout the year, often in the hundreds, very few can actually be confirmed.

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“It’s exciting when you actually see a good report,” says Davis. “From a biological perspective, it’s a victory of sorts. But you always have to balance those biological perspectives with public safety and human conflict.”

As of April 17, the department has no plans to search for or capture the mountain lion because it doesn’t seem to bother anyone.

“Without any actual complaints, we just let the mountain lion do what it needs to do as long as it doesn’t cause any problems,” he said.

“Luckily, cats do cat things, and cat things usually involve chasing deer, not chasing goats and cows.”

It’s not clear where the mountain lion came from, but it most likely came from out of state.

There is no “viable breeding population” of the big cats in Oklahoma, but the animals tend to wander far and wide from where they were born, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife says. However, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and South Dakota all have mountain lion populations.

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Cougars entering the state often come from Colorado or the Black Hills of South Dakota, Davis said.

Hunting mountain lions is against the law in Oklahoma, but residents are allowed to use lethal means to defend themselves, pets and domesticated animals if they are at risk of attack.

According to state wildlife officials, there have been 77 confirmed sightings of mountain lions in Oklahoma since December 2002.

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