The mountain lion dragged apparently took its prey from a calving corral, dragged it into a shelter-belt and fed on its dinner in privacy.
Nebraska officials said a wildlife expert examined the carcass and the scene of the killing. Scat left by the predator was collected and sent to a federal genetics laboratory. Just as the state's expert had suggested, the lab results confirmed the presence of a mountain lion.
According to state law, the cattle farm owner has a 30-day license to kill the mountain lion, should it return and attempt to pick off any more calves.
This is the first confirmed livestock killing by the impressive mammal since mountain lions largely disappeared from the East and Midwest during the first half of the 20th century. But mountain lions, or cougars, have been making a dramatic comeback across much of the country.
Earlier this year, a Nebraska farmer shot and killed a 30-pound female mountain lion as she approached his chicken coop. The farmer told officials the cougar stood her ground when approached and refused to be scared off.