This photograph of a mountain lion was taken by an Indiana Department of Natural Resources motion-sensitive camera in Greene County on May 1, 2010. (Courtesy photo / DNR)
This photograph of a mountain lion was taken by an Indiana Department of Natural Resources motion-sensitive camera in Greene County on May 1, 2010. (Courtesy photo / DNR)
Lions, tigers and bears — in Indiana? Well, not tigers.

Animals tracks in the mud after a recent rain caused people hiking in Brown County’s Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill to stop and take notice. The prints were big, and there had been a recent news report of a Nashville-area family’s pet cat being killed, possibly by a mountain lion.

While the Downey Hill paw print was identified as a dog’s by state mammalogist Brad Westrich, paying attention to tracks and possible wildlife is important when hiking, riding bikes or horses or scouting for the morel mushrooms that will soon be popping up as the ground warms.

“We do receive mountain lion reports,” Westrich said. “Most have come to us without any evidence, and they weren’t in the area of the (recent) attack.”

Westrich said the incident on March 11 involving the cat is still under investigation. No clear tracks of a mountain lion were found in the area by conservation officers who reached the scene after the incident was over.

Although mountain lions’ current range is listed as being in the western United States, Westrich said, mountain lions have wandered into the Midwest, with one being confirmed as having traveled through Greene County in 2010. One male mountain lion from South Dakota traveled throughout the Midwest and all the way to Connecticut, where it was killed by a vehicle.

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