FAKE OUT: Police Think ‘Mountain Lion’ Was Bobcat

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Des Moines police say recent reported sightings of a mountain lion in the metro – may have been cases of mistaken identity.

Police now think the feline that’s been spotted may have been a bobcat.

They first received a report of possible mountain lion sighting Monday, by a manager at an apartment complex at 4214 Hubbell Avenue. He told them residents had reported seeing a mountain lion that morning and had also seen it in the morning on previous days.

The second report came Wednesday when a woman said she spotted a mountain lion about a mile from Clay Elementary School in Altoona. Children at the school were kept inside during recess as a precaution.

Police found no sign of a mountain lion after investigating both sightings.

Now police say they’ve received a photo, taken by a private resident Wednesday night, of a bobcat in the area where the sightings were reported.


Police say the animal in the photo has been confirmed as a bobcat. It appears to be a mature bobcat, weighing about 20 pounds.

Willie Such of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources also confirmed the cat in the photo was a bobcat.