A mountain lion was spotted in the southern Iowa town of Oskaloosa this week. Department of Natural Resources Biologist Vince Evelsizer says mountain lions will sometimes end up in Iowa when older males in the Black Hills area of western South Dakota and Rocky Mountain States, like Colorado and Wyoming, drive out younger males. That’s been the most common situation for mountain lions found in Iowa according to DNA tissue samples. He explains as these animals branch out looking for new territory that will provide females and food, they’ll end up in Iowa, and in most cases won’t stick around long.
He says that while Nebraska has a small breeding population, the DNR has no evidence that Iowa does as well.
Other large predators like Black Bears and Wolves, who are thriving in places like Minnesota and Wisconsin, have been known to roam into Iowa.