Dawes County man protects mountain lion by keeping it as pet - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Dawes County man protects mountain lion by keeping it as pet

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Mountain Lions have been a hot topic in the Nebraska Legislature this year. State lawmakers passed a bill to ban hunting of the big cats, and Governor Dave Heineman cast his first veto of the year to override the ban.

However Tom Goodwin of rural Chadron is taking a different approach on preserving these majestic beasts by keeping one as a pet in his home.

"They're just big cuddle monsters," says Goodwin. His 2-year-old cat Roubidoux wandered on his back porch in February, and he has been feeding her and trying to domesticate her.

"I would rather keep Roubi in a safe environment rather than risk her wandering onto a farmers property and get shot."

The issue comes with some legal implications, however.

Under Nebraska state statute, it is illegal to keep a big cat like Roubidoux as a pet. Goodwin has been working on a petition to change the law.

Goodwin says that he feels like things will end up in his favor, because the petition received its 10,000th signature on Tuesday, April Fool's Day. "I hope that Heineman sides with me on this one," adds Goodwin. "Because deep down he's a good practical joker too."

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