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Mountain lion presence confirmed along Papillion Creek

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission confirmed mountain lion presence in Omaha on Aug. 2 via tracks and photo evidence.

The animal was moving south along Papillion Creek between Interstate 80 and 96th Street.

Also, a Game and Parks law enforcement officer and the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported observation of a mountain lion east of Walnut Creek Recreation Area near the southern city limit of Papillion around midnight Aug. 3. This observation is considered probable but unconfirmed by Game and Parks due to a lack of definitive evidence.

Game and Parks and other agencies will continue to monitor and search for the animal and are requesting people call Game and Parks or local police if they observe a mountain lion.

Game and Parks cannot relocate mountain lions for the following reasons:

  • Public safety is the top priority.
  • Nebraska does not have large tracts of public land with adequate habitat for a lion to be relocated. Nebraska is approximately 98% privately owned, any mountain lion moved could quickly enter private land.
  • Zoos typically do not accept adult mountain lions that have lived in the wild; these animals are stressed by people and confinement and do not do well in zoos.
  • Tranquilizers can take up to 10 minutes to take effect, and animals often run after being darted. These animals may be difficult or impossible to relocate and may cross into traffic or highly populated areas in a partially drugged state. 

Game and Parks reminds people that mountain lion attacks are rare. In the event of a mountain lion encounter:

  • Do not approach a mountain lion.
  • Leave the animal an avenue of escape.
  • Stay calm, move slowly.
  • Back away safely if you can. Do not turn your back to the lion or start running.
  • Raise your arms or backpack to appear larger.
  • Lift your children to prevent them from running.
  • If you are being attacked fight back. Mountain lion have been successfully driven off with bare hands. Use rocks, or whatever you can get your hands on. Try to remain on your feet or get back up if knocked down.

To view the mountain lion response plan or more information about mountain lions visit,

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at or 402-471-5008.

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