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      Deputy spots mountain lion

      A Marion County deputy said he spotted a mountain lion while on patrol early Friday morning.

      KHQA found out about the sighting after we received several news tips. We were able to confirm that a deputy had reported the sighting and a conservation officer out of Hannibal was notified.

      The large cat was seen behind the old West Quincy Drive-In off of Co. Road 357 in West Quincy, Mo.

      The Marion County Sheriff's Department says that the deputy was out on a normal patrol on Co. Rd. 357 after midnight when he spotted what he thought was a mountain lion.

      When he spotted it, he shined his spotlight on it and watched it from 20 yards away. The mountain lion was stalking a raccoon while the deputy watched for 15 minutes. He called a state trooper and a conservation agent then and the conservation agent told him to mark the area in which it was seen.

      The next day, members of the Missouri Mountain Lion Response Team came to look for any physical evidence. They couldn't find any feces, tracks, hair or carcasses of mountain lion prey to prove that a mountain lion had actually been there. Because of that, they can't rule it a confirmed sighting.

      They are listing in the report that it was sighted by a credible witness because it was Sheriff's deputy.

      Melissa asked the D.O.C. if the people of Quincy should be concerned because it was so close by, but she was told that mountain lions are naturally reclusive and tend to stay away from populated areas.

      There is a naturally large food supply for them in rural areas nearby and they won't go into a city, or town just to find food. Click here to read more about mountain lions moving into the Midwest.

      You may remember that as recently as May 12, we reported a mountain lion confirmed by the Missouri Department of Conservation in northern Macon County Missouri based on photos of paw prints by a landowner.

      Click here to learn more about identifying a mountain lion and remember, always be aware of your surroundings and never approach a wild animal. If you see a mountain lion, report the sighting to local authorities. Click here to learn about identifying mountain lion tracks.

      Share your stories, pictures and fears about having mountain lions so close on our Facebook page.