Spotting mountain lions in Oklahoma

Friday, January 9th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Oklahoma wildlife officials say mountain lions are rare here in our state. But one Okemah man was lucky enough to spot one and luckier still to have his video camera nearby.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg talked with him.

It was about ten years ago when Phillip Landers spotted the big cat on his land. And he couldn't quite believe it himself. But he's got the pictures to prove it. He says his attention was first drawn to a deer and a coyote.
And then he noticed another animal that he says was was too big to be a coyote.

It's just one fleeting glimpse. Mountain lions, or cougars as they're also called, are notoriously shy. Landers was only able to capture a couple of seconds as the animal went loping back into the woods.

He says he told the local game warden about it, who didn't believe it until he saw the tape himself. "Yeah, I told him about it, and he said, 'nah, not here', so we set a date a couple of days later where we had video, and he said 'that's a mountain lion isn't it?' and I said, 'It sure is!'"

Wildlife officials say there's no reason to worry about an attack in Oklahoma. We don't have anything close to the congestion of people and of mountain lions that they do in California. But it's no less exciting if you're lucky enough to spot one.