A piece of Des Moines Police history is now on display in the department’s archives. The stuffed and mounted addition isn’t what you would expect to find at a police museum.
“Quite unusual to have a mountain lion within the city limits in any city,” says Des Moines Sgt. Jason Halifax.
Last October, police shot and killed a mountain lion wandering through a north Des Moines neighborhood.
“I think for safety reasons, they really was no other choice,” says neighbor Kari Opperman.
Now, the more than six-foot long cougar has a new home in the Des Moines Police Museum.
“It’s weapons, it’s badges, handcuffs, vehicles, and now we have another piece of history,” says Halifax.
The stuffed cougar was paid for by museum funds and donations from the Des Moines Police Burial Association.
Mountain lion sightings are rare but not unheard of in the state. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says there have been 13 confirmed sightings since 1995. That doesn’t include the most recent case in Des Moines. Most of the sightings have been in western Iowa.
The animal will be on display at the DNR building at State Fair this year.