HOT SPRINGS -- A mountain lion was recently photographed by a hunter's game camera near Amity in Clark County, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said Thursday.
Biologists with the commission determined the sighting was credible following an investigation. No date was given as to when the big cat was located, or a more exact location.
Also known as pumas and cougars, mountain lions lived throughout the state until around 1920, a news release from the commission said. A total of 23 mountain lion sightings have been confirmed since 2010.
"Mountain lions are solitary cats native to North America," the release said. "They are typically shy and reclusive, and they rarely attack humans. In fact, mountain lions are more likely to be afraid of humans. They have learned to avoid people, and they will usually run away if they hear or see humans."
A deer hunter shot and killed a 148-pound male mountain lion near Hermitage in November 2014, the first time the animal had been killed in the state since 1975. Lab results revealed the animal most likely originated from the Black Hills breeding population in Wyoming and South Dakota.
"The mountain lion traveled from Marion County to Bradley County in about six weeks before it was killed," Myron Means, Game and Fish Commission large carnivore biologist, said. "That shows you how far a mountain lion can travel in a short period.
"Mountain lions are not game animals; just like with other animals that do not have a recognized hunting season, they are illegal to kill. A limited 'self-defense' exception exists in regulation when a person acts 'under a good faith belief that he was protecting himself or other persons from imminent bodily harm or serious injury."
The public is encouraged to contact their nearest Game and Fish Commission office with any sightings of mountain lions with verifiable evidence.