There's a large mountain lion roaming around Dallas County, officials confirm.
The animal was recently seen on private property in Rowlett, according to biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Surveillance video from Stephanie Higgins and Logan Aduddell's trail camera shows the big cat walking around at night in the Dalrock area between Highway 66 and Miller Road.
"I thought it was a bobcat at first but then I was like, 'Man, that is way too big to be a bobcat,'" Higgins said.
Biologists said they suspect this mountain lion is most likely a transient juvenile male that is just passing through as it searches for a "home range, a place where it can establish itself."
"One key thing to keep in mind is mountain lions are a component of the natural landscape in many parts of Texas, and unless they are in what we would consider a no-tolerance zone such as near a school, or if the lion exhibited threatening behavior, then there’s really no action they would consider taking," Megan Radke with TPWD said in a statement.
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Radke said seeing a mountain lion in the wild is an extremely uncommon occurrence as mountain lions are "crepuscular and primarily hunt at night."
"A mountain lion attack on people or pets is highly unlikely, however TPWD biologists suggest that residents keep their pets indoors at night, don’t leave out pet food and secure their trash," Radke said.
Sam Kieschnick is an urban wildlife biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He said it’s “exciting” and rare news for the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
"I’ve gone on dozens of claims of mountain lions, but never have I seen verifiable evidence," Kieschnick said. "The same for my predecessor when he was working with Parks and Wildlife. A lot of claims, but never this verifiable evidence.”
Kieschnick said spotting a mountain from a distance is lucky. Seeing it more than once is not likely.
"It’s slim to none. They are just very elusive, shy, secretive critters," he said. "I hope that people get excited by this kind of news. It’s OK that we can share Dallas-Fort Worth with nature."
Kieschnick said there were no immediate plans to capture or interfere with the mountain lion, as evidence did not show signs of aggressive behavior.
If a person encounters or sees a mountain lion, DO NOT RUN. Throw rocks, make loud noises and make yourself big and intimidating to the lion, Radke said.