Kansan says she saw mountain lion|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|11/14/04 at 00:26:04|richard_f|xx|0||Kansan says she saw mountain lion

Friday, November 05, 2004
Connie Jo Discoe

BEARDSLEY -- A Beardsley-area farmer-rancher says "the huge wild cat" she spotted last summer had a very long, smooth body, a long tail and "clubby feet." She believes the cat was a mountain lion.

Myrtle Carson, who lives in Colby, Kan., and farms in Rawlins County, reread an entry she made in her daily journal after she saw in the Gazette recently that another mountain lion was spotted in Nebraska.

The story in the Oct 9-10 issue of the Gazette indicated that a hunter photographed a mountain lion east of Sparks, in far north-central Nebraska, near the South Dakota border and the Niobrara River. The cat was the 15th confirmed mountain lion sighting in Nebraska since 1991.

Carson said she saw her big cat Tuesday, May 25, as she was checking freeze damage on her wheat crop. "Drove by the old home place," Myrtle read from her journal.

The old home place was the ranch owned by her mother, Flora Wallace, on the Beaver Creek.

Carson said she was driving on the highway north out of Levant and south of Highway 36 and Beardsley, and approaching the cement bridge west of Otis Dewey's, when "I saw a huge wild cat walk across the road toward the cement culvert."

"It walked like a lion or a tiger," Myrtle read from her journal. She remembers she was about a block away, "and I couldn't believe my eyes. It was very exciting."

She said she drove slowly to the culvert on the west side of the road and stopped. "I could see where he went in," she said. "He didn't come out, and I didn't want to get out," she laughed.

Carson said she immediately notified neighbors. "I talked to Walt Bates," her journal indicates. "He will get word to Monty Biggs," who has the place closest to the culvert, she said.

Carson said others have seen the cat. "We all leave it alone," she said. "We all get along with it."

Carson figures the mountain lion came in from the Rockies.

"He wouldn't ever need to kill cattle," she said. "There's plenty of deer and wild turkeys. Maybe even prairie dogs -- they're thick."

"And the culvert will be nice to winter in," she said. "It's near water.