Mountain lions are rather rare in Bandera County, but someone clipped one of the felines with their vehicle last week and put the animal in a ditch.
What was unfortunate for the animal will be good for Texans, as many people who've not seen one of these large predators will get to see this specimen, albiet stuffed and mounted, in the near future.
The body of the animal was found Thursday, Oct. 18, along FM 2828 about two miles west of Hwy. 173. Texas Department of Transportation workers saw something large in the ditch beside the road and investigated, Bandera County Game Warden Mark McQueary said.
The animal was taken to a state biologist in Kerrville.
“It was a big, healthy male, estimated at four to five years old,” McQueary said. “It weighed 121 pounds and was 79 inches (six feet, six inches) from nose to the tip of its tail.”
The animal was not badly damaged by the vehicle strike. “It was in extremely good shape,” McQueary said.
The game warden said the animal's full body will be mounted and put on display in the Operation Game Theft trailer that travels across the state.
“If it weren't for the TxDOT workers and their speed, we would not have been able to use it,” McQueary said.
He said mountain lions are found in Bandera County “occasionally,” whereas coyotes are “pretty regular.”
“We have them (mountain lions) here,” McQueary said. The evidence is in the tracks found and the reports by individuals who said they've seen them. Unfortunately, those sightings have come without photographs.
The game warden said people lose sheep and goats and blame it on mountain lions.
So next year when you hear about the Operation Game Theft trailer coming around, go and see a Bandera County native.