Mountain lion plan includes bighorn sheep protection

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska's new mountain lion management plan includes some protection for the state's small population of bighorn sheep.

The plan approved Friday by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission pulls policies together in one management document to guide decisions.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that among the plan provisions, the commission director may authorize the killing of any mountain lion known to target bighorn sheep and jeopardize the existence of a herd.

Mountain lions are native to Nebraska but were eliminated by the end of the 1800s. Cougars from neighboring states started returning to Nebraska late in the 1990s.

Game and Parks started reintroducing bighorns in 1981 to reclaim portions of their native range. Officials say the predators have killed 13 bighorns in Nebraska over the past decade.