November 6, 2009

TAT Fish, Wildlife donates mountain lion to museum

TAT Fish, Wildlife donates mountain lion to museum
Reservation sightings on the increase
By MARVIN BAKER
EDITOR

A young mountain lion that was snared in a trap near Mandaree has been mounted and donated by the Three Affiliated Tribes Fish and Wildlife Department to the Four Bears Museum.
A dedication ceremony was held Monday afternoon at the museum that included Game and Fish Director Fred Poitra, TAT Natural Resource Committee Chairman Barry Benson, museum curator Marilyn Hudson and members of the museum’s board of directors.
Benson said the donation of the mount is to help people visiting the museum to become more aware of this animal that is being sighted more frequently in recent years.
“Mountain lion sightings are increasing in the New Town and surrounding areas of the Fort Berthold Reservation,” Benson said. “We would like to increase the public awareness of these animals. This mount can be used for educational purposes in the identification of lions and give people a chance to see a lion if they have never seen one before.”
According to Poitra, sightings are on the rise and he estimates there are approximately 25 mountain lions on the reservation. He said they love to prey on deer and often stalk their prey within a 60-mile radius of their den.
Poitra said it is likely that forest fires elsewhere in the United States and Canada have driven lions out of their original territory, which would explain why sightings have been on the increase.
“They have to move to new territory and they’re coming through here,” Poitra said. “That’s what we understand.”
 


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