RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) – It appears some mountain lions appear quite comfortable at a home in Rapid City, South Dakota.
According to Annie Mueller, who lives at the home, the mountain lions visited at approximately 6 a.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Tuesday, and returned at 7 a.m. on Wednesday.
Security camera video from Tuesday morning even shows one of the cougars checking out Mueller’s front door before climbing up on a bench.
Historically, mountain lions have lived throughout South Dakota, with many located in the Black Hills, according to the state’s Game, Fish and Parks department. Their population declined in the 1900s due to unregulated hunting, and bounties were placed on mountain lions until 1966. They were listed as a threatened species in South Dakota in 1978.
In 2003, mountain lions were removed from the state’s threatened species list and classified as a big game animal, the GF&P says on its website. The first mountain lion hunting season was established in 2005 as an “experimental season” and continues to be implemented as a management tool to keep populations at a desired level.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, an adult male mountain lion’s home range is typically more than 100 square miles, and the female’s is approximately 20 to 60 square miles. An adult male can be more than eight feet long and weigh between 130 to 150 pounds, while the adult female can be seven feet long and weight between 65 to 90 pounds.
Mountain lions can be found wherever deer are present, the U.S. Forest Service says on its website. Usually, their habitat is steep, rocky canyons or mountainous terrain.