WATCH: Mountain Lion Roams In This South Dakota Town
There is always something new you encounter when you're a police officer patrolling the streets. However, I don't think the police officers of the Vermillion Police Department ever expected to this really big cat early Friday morning!
Around 4:15 AM on Friday morning, officers driving on patrol came close to a crosswalk when they noticed something very large and unusual crossing the street. A mountain lion was probably the last thing Vermillion police officers thought they would see in the early morning hours.
An officer sighted a mountain lion while on patrol, at about 4:15 AM, crossing N. Dakota Street in about the 100 block. Please be aware, if you plan to go for a morning jog, walk, etc., in case our visitor hasn't left town yet.
There were a lot of safety concerns in regards to the mountain lion sighting. The Vermillion Police Department worked with organizations including South Dakota Game. Fish, and Parks to determine how to approach this situation.
The Vermillion Police Department told our news partners at Dakota News Now they were pretty "confident" the mountain lion was out of the area. But, they still want to remind everyone to stay vigilant while they are outdoors.
There have not been any additional reported sightings, so it likely continued outside of city limits by now. Game, Fish, & Parks advised us that attacks on humans are very unlikely. If you want to be extra cautious, walk in groups, however unaccompanied small children and small pets outside would be the most vulnerable.
Mountain lions are nothing new to the state of South Dakota. They primarily inhabit the Black Hills. However, they do roam across the state. So if you happen to see a mountain lion in South Dakota, give the big cat its space.
You can watch the video of the mountain lion hanging out in Vermillion by clicking here.