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Des Moines homeowner spots mountain lion on security camera

Nancy Dorwart shared the video with Local 5 of the animal on her Ring camera.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A mountain lion sighting on the north side of Des Moines confirmed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources makes this the 35th confirmed mountain lion tracked by the department since 2001.

Homeowner Nancy Dorwart shared the video with Local 5 of the mountain lion passing through her yard on Sunday, Oct. 10 around 5 a.m.

According to the DNR, the last confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in Polk County was in 2019, when two individuals called in to report the animals.

2019 saw the highest report of mountain lions by the public, with six confirmed or probable mountain lions by the DNR.

People have sent in videos, trail camera pictures, and other proof of mountain lions to the DNR over the years. They have been confirmed in Polk, Grundy, Plymouth, Tama, Warren, and Marshall counties, to name a few.

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Mountain lions have no legal wildlife status in Iowa. That means they can be taken and possessed by anyone at anytime as long as legal methods and means are used to take the animal. 

According to the DNR, mountain lions and black bears are not listed in the Iowa Code as designated wildlife species, because they were extirpated before fish and game legislation became prominent.

Individuals are encouraged to report any mountain lion sightings that can be substantiated with strong evidence (video, photo, photo of track, or DNA material) to local DNR personnel. Contact information can be found at www.iowadnr.gov.  

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