Mountain lion caught on video in far-eastern South Dakota, near Iowa border

It's not unheard of for a mountain lion to travel such long distances.

YANKTON, S.D. — A state wildlife official says a mountain lion captured on video in eastern South Dakota is likely just passing through.

Yankton resident Jim Ryan spotted the big cat on footage from the security camera outside his garage over the weekend. The closest breeding population of mountain lions is about 400 miles away, in far-western South Dakota’s Black Hills – Yankton is in far-eastern South Dakota, near the Iowa border and also not far from the Minnesota border.

Ryan contacted a game warden with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. Warden Dan Altman tells the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan that the lion probably is a loner seeking new territory. He says the lion is probably a young male who isn’t big enough to be the dominant cat in an area and got pushed out.

Altman says it’s not unheard of for a mountain lion to travel such long distances. A few years ago, a big cat confirmed to be from the Black Hills was spotted around Minnesota’s Twin Cities metro area.

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