A family in Omaha, Nebraska, reported a mountain lion on their patio.
A typical Thursday morning in a West Omaha neighborhood quickly took a wild turn for the Patterson family. Steve Patterson and his wife were starting their day in typical fashion when they heard a loud scream from their patio. Patterson, who believed he recognized the scream as that of a mountain lion, opened his window blinds to find the big cat staring directly back at him.
"He was right there looking at me. I opened the blinds and saw those big eyes," says Patterson.
Patterson believed the giant cat had reached a dead end at his house. The family lives near a series of parks that follow the Big Papio Creek.
"It looked like he had a domestic cat cornered on our patio." According to an interview with the Omaha News, the cat then bolted towards the creek in West Fairacres Park.
The family quickly notified police. Officers shared with Patterson that they treated his report "very seriously" as there was another sighting reported just a few weeks prior in a nearby residential area.
If this story sounds familiar, that's because more stories like this have been occurring lately. Like this story we reported on from California a short while back of a mountain lion dragging a dead deer off of a residential patio. Or this story of two young cougars shot while eating a seal on a residential boat dock.
Nebraska has a commitment to big game conservation. This is not the first mountain lion spotted inside city limits in Omaha. The last was seen in 2015 and was shot by police officers. Prior to that, in 2003, another was spotted, captured, and transferred for the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. That cat died just weeks ago on January 26th at the zoo.
Patterson's wife was setting out to walk the dog when the cat was discovered. Patterson says children in the neighborhood would've also shortly been loading onto buses or walking to school.