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A hunt is underway for a young mountain lion that has been spotted several times in a residential neighborhood on the southeast side of Rapid City. 

Two sightings in the area of Gemstone and Parkview drives have been confirmed through video recorded on household security cameras. The first occurred at 1 p.m. Monday, while the second was recorded at 2 p.m. Tuesday, according to John Kanta, regional supervisor for the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks. 

Kanta said there have been several eyewitness sightings in the same area. 

Based on the security camera footage, the lion appears to be 1-1/2 to 2 years old. Sighting in this part of the city — about a mile north of the Walmart Supercenter on Stumer Road — are rare. Kanta's theory is that the animal likely made a wrong turn after entering the area through Skyline Drive. 

Officers with the GF&P as well as dogs will continue searching for the "next day or so," Kanta said. "We'll stay until we catch up with it." 

If the lion is captured, it will be euthanized because it has entered a residential area and could pose a threat to humans. Kanta emphasized that attacks on humans are extremely rare. 

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On May 19, a lion attacked two people while they were mountain biking in remote woods northeast of Snoqualmie, Wash., killing one man and injuring the other. According to USA Today, it was the second fatal attack in 100 years in Washington State. 


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City Editor

City editor for the Rapid City Journal.