The topic of mountain lions in the state of Iowa can be a controversial subject. Yes, the big cats are most certainly back in the Hawkeye state. But some disagree about just how many there are, and that the ones that are confirmed are merely just passing through. A recent mountain lion sighting in Des Moines has residents on edge and officials confused about just what they caught on tape in someone's backyard.

The Des Moines Register reports that a homeowner spotted the animal in question in the Grays Woods neighborhood at around 10:30 a.m. A spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said that the animal was caught on security video by the homeowner.

The DNR reviewed the footage and the Register reports that they confirmed that the animal was indeed a mountain lion. But wait just a minute. Another DNR biologist review the tape and he told television station KCCI that it was NOT a mountain lion, but instead a large house cat. According to the Register, officials with the Des Moines Police Department are continuing to treat the case as a mountain lion sighting.

The Register reports that there have been 19 human fatalities due to mountain lions in the past 150 years, none occurring in Iowa. The DNR warns that while encounters are extremely rare, extra precautions should be taken if a mountain lion is in the area. Anyone who thinks they have spotted a mountain lion is urged to call 911.

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