Rare, ‘uninvited visitor’ seen prowling in the dark outside Oklahoma home, video shows

Police are warning residents of a small Oklahoma town to stay alert after a backyard camera caught a rarely seen predator prowling at night.

The “uninvited guest” was spotted outside a home in Drumright, the police department said in an April 16 Facebook post. Drumright, a town of about 2,500 people, is a roughly 40-mile drive southwest of Tulsa.

In the video, a mountain lion can be seen passing within several feet of the home, strolling into the glare of a porch light before disappearing into the dark.

“Maybe that’s why all the cats around here were stirred up last night,” a local woman commented on the post.

Police have contacted state game wardens about the animal, but officials reminded the public to remain cautious and to use common sense.

“If you see the cat, don’t try to approach it,” the post said.

The mountain lion report has been verified, Jerrod Davis, senior wildlife biologist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, told McClatchy News in a phone interview. While the department receives many reports throughout the year, often well into the hundreds, very few are actually able to be confirmed.

“It is exciting when you actually get to see a good report,” Davis said. “From a biological perspective it’s kind of a win. But you just always have to balance those biological perspectives with public safety and human conflict.”

As of April 17, the department has no plans to search for or capture the mountain lion, as it doesn’t seem to be bothering anyone.

“Without there being any actual complaints, we’re just letting the mountain lion do what it needs to do, as long as it doesn’t cause any issues,” he said.

“Luckily, cats do cat things, and cat things usually include chasing deer, and not chasing goats and cows.”

It’s not clear where the mountain lion may have come from, but it most likely came from out of state.

There is no “viable, breeding population” of the big cats in Oklahoma, but the animals have a tendency to wander far and wide from where they’re born, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife says. However, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and South Dakota all have mountain lion populations.

Cougars that wander into the state often come from Colorado or the Black Hills of South Dakota, Davis said.

Hunting mountain lions is against the law in Oklahoma, but residents are allowed to use lethal means to defend themselves, pets and domesticated animals if they are in danger of being attacked.

There have been 77 confirmed mountain lion sightings in Oklahoma since 2002, as of December, according to state wildlife officials.