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Rural N.D. homeowner shoots mountain lion kitten in house

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BISMARCK -- State Game and Fish Department officials are confirming that a rural western North Dakota homeowner shot and killed a 38-pound mountain lion kitten inside his home on Wednesday evening.

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According to chief game warden Robert Timian, upon returning to his farmstead northwest of Grassy Butte, N.D., on Wednesday, the homeowner discovered the mountain lion kitten lying on his couch. The man then grabbed a .22 pistol kept near his doorway, shot the animal, and then contacted Game and Fish.

Timian said the initial investigation revealed the garage door was open during the day, and the door from the garage into the house was open when the owner returned home. Since the lion apparently killed four domestic cats in the house, and other domestic cats were present, it's possible the lion was attracted to the house by cat scent coming through the open door, Timian added.

"This is a very unusual situation," Timian said. "The homeowner probably wasn't in any danger from the small lion, and he was well within his rights to dispatch it."

The home is located in an area of North Dakota where mountain lions are present. While Game and Fish periodically gets reports of lions in or near farmsteads, Timian said this is the first one that has entered a home. The fact that it was a young animal may have been a factor in its presence around a dwelling.

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