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Mountain lion’s ‘unusual’ appearance in Texas National Park sparks mystery

The “unusual” appearance of a mountain lion in a Texas national park has sparked a mystery: Where did it come from?

A mountain lion in itself is not uncommon in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. They will go pretty much anywhere mule deer – among the most common park animals in Wild West Texas – can be found.

But this particular mountain lion recently spotted on a surveillance camera was wearing a collar.

Why is this weird? The park says he hasn’t worn a cat collar since the 1980s.

“This collared mountain lion must have drifted into the park from another location,” the park posted on Facebook. “It’s unusual, but exciting to see this individual with a collar, as it reflects the vast roaming and trekking behaviors of mountain lions.”

A mountain lion, also known as a cougar or puma, needs a huge swathe of habitat to survive, according to the National Wildlife Federation. Cubs stay with their mothers for up to 26 months, but typically separate earlier to find their own territory, according to wildlife groups.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park shared a photo of the mountain lion in hopes of finding out who caught the cat.

“Since this is not our cat, we wanted to share the image to help anyone researching, finding and watching their kitty,” the park said. “We contacted local researchers to identify … the cat and its collar, without success.”

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