Gladstone News

Bobcat Sighting Sparks Concerns for Pets and Hikers Near I-435 and 152 HWY

Liberty, MO - November 10, 2023

Residents in the Liberty, Missouri area are on high alert after reports of a Mountain Lion sighting near the intersection of I-435 and 152 Highway. Kaley Dawn took to social media to share her encounter, describing a large mountain lion crossing the highway, prompting drivers to hit their brakes.

"I have a small German Shepherd who’s around 75 pounds. I would definitely say it was the size of her but way closer to the ground and the legs were super thick," Dawn reported. She expressed concern for the safety of pets and hikers in the vicinity, urging caution in the area.

Several community members chimed in on the post, sharing their own experiences with these elusive creatures. Many pointed out that the Missouri Department of Conservation often denies the presence of mountain lions in the area, stating these are Bobcats, a wildcat native to Missouri that is slightly smaller than Mountain Lions.

Jeremy Patton, a local resident, commented, "Conservation dept says they don't live here but pass through looking for new territory.. ppl see them too often for them not to live here." Others echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that the encroachment of human development into wildlife habitats has led to increased sightings.

Sherry DeMoss Hurd added, "We have neighbors who have game cams. Several shots of mountain lions for the last 7 years north of Liberty. Conservation Department finally confirmed the sightings."

The debate continued as some residents shared their skepticism about the presence of mountain lions in the area. Elizabeth Sarcione questioned whether the sighting was, in fact, a bobcat. Still, Kaley Dawn stood firm in her observation, describing the creature's size and behavior.

Wildlife enthusiasts in the community also shared their knowledge, with Karen Randall explaining, "Their range is huge. They have their babies in different places every year in a place near water and food. The babies stay near mom for up to a year, then she kicks them out and they go looking for new territory."

As the discussion unfolded, residents recounted other recent sightings of bobcats and mountain lions in various parts of Liberty, including areas near Pleasant Valley police station, Parkville, and Thousand Oaks.

While the Missouri Department of Conservation has traditionally denied the presence of mountain lions in the area, the growing number of eyewitness accounts and the confirmation of sightings by the Conservation Department itself suggest that these elusive creatures may indeed be finding a home in the suburbs of Liberty.

Residents are advised to remain vigilant, especially those with pets and those who enjoy outdoor activities in the affected areas. The discussion on social media reflects a growing awareness of local wildlife and prompts residents to reconsider their understanding of the animals that share their community.