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Nebraska officials search for mountain lion spotted on home security video

A mountain lion found in a municipality “will be killed if it can safely be done, to ensure public safety," says the state Game and Parks Mountain Lion Response Plan.

A search is underway in Omaha, Nebraska, for a mountain lion that was spotted by a home security camera roaming around a residential area Monday, officials said.

The mountain lion was recorded wandering by a home in southwest Omaha at around 4:15 a.m., the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission said in a news release.

Law enforcement and wildlife professionals from the commission launched a search but have been unable to locate the mountain lion, it said.

According to the Game and Parks Mountain Lion Response Plan, a mountain lion found within the limits of a municipality "will be killed if it can safely be done, to ensure public safety."

The commission noted in its news release that mountain lion attacks are rare, however.

Anyone who does encounter a mountain lion is warned to never approach it, the U.S. Forest Service says on its website. It also provides information about steps to take in the event of an encounter.

Mountain lions are native to Nebraska, but they were "eliminated" by the 1890s, according to the Game and Parks Commission. They later returned through natural expansion from populations in Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Now, they can typically be found in three areas in Nebraska, the Pine Ridge, Niobrara River Valley and Wildcat Hills, according to the commission.

The commission approved mountain lion hunting in the Pine Ridge area starting in 2014, saying on its website that management of the mountain lion population was "focused on ensuring the species’ long-term sustainability, while allowing hunting opportunities when appropriate."