Published March 03, 2009, 05:58 AM

Biologist: Weather could affect cougars

The state Game and Fish Department says three of the mountain lions killed in the state this year had shortened tails from frost bite damage and two had frostbitten ears.

BISMARCK (AP) — The state Game and Fish Department says three of the mountain lions killed in the state this year had shortened tails from frost bite damage and two had frostbitten ears.

Biologist Dorothy Fecske said it’s still not clear exactly how this winter will affect the state’s mountain lion population. But she said lion kittens are susceptible to extreme weather.

The mountain lion season closed in the western part of the state last week after the quota of eight cougars killed was reached. Fecske said the eight included five males and three females.

She said seven were killed in McKenzie County and one in Williams County. The last one, near Watford City, was the largest at 170 pounds.

The season in the rest of the state closes at the end of this month.

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