ST. PAUL, Minn., May 29 (UPI) -- A Minnesota man said he is sure the animal he spotted from the deck of his St. Paul home was a mountain lion.
Jacob Todd said he was out on the deck of his apartment around 10:30 p.m. Friday with Abby Marcus when they spotted the mountain lion walking with a house cat in its mouth, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Wednesday.
Todd said he had previous experience identifying mountain lions during the eight months he spent as a search-and-rescue worker in southern Idaho, and he used the Internet to verify the animal he and Marcus spotted was indeed a cougar. He estimated it weighed about 65 pounds.
"It was awesome," Marcus said.
St. Paul police said officers searched the area but did not find any sign of a mountain lion.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources spokesman Chris Niskanen said very few mountain lion sightings in the state "are actually verifiable."
"Although some cougar sightings in Minnesota are accurately identified, many observations from trail cameras and tracks turn out to be cases of mistaken identity. Bobcats, house cats, coyotes, wolves, fishers and light-colored dogs have all been mistaken as cougars," the spokesman said in an email.
"Evidence might suggest the animal's prevalence is increasing," but more "verified cougar observations indicate that cougar occurrences in Minnesota is a result of transient animals" from North and South Dakota, Niskanen wrote.