A mountain lion (cougar) was struck by a vehicle in Franklin County, Mo, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reported.

Then the lion got up and jogged off into the night. A police officer’s flashlight trailed. The last thing they saw was a big cat’s dark silhouette. And two glowing eyes staring back at them.

Missouri Department of Conservation staff members first got to the scene at 8:30 p.m. Monday night at the intersection of Highway T and Old Highway 100, just north of Villa Ridge.

The lion was struck by a vehicle about 8:30 p.m. on Monday near Highway T and Old Highway 100, about 45 miles west of downtown St. Louis along Interstate 44. No one else was hurt.

The Conservation Department asked anyone who sees the animal to stay away from it and report the sighting to the state conservation department or local police.

“It darted out, and the trailer hit the animal, and so he turned around because he realized it wasn’t a deer or something more typical,” Straatmann Feed and Transfer Inc. employee Austin Straatman said.

Patrice Pyatt with MDC said they still don’t know the lion’s gender. However, most mountain lions spotted in Missouri are males who came from the West in search of new territory.

The last mountain lion sighting in the St. Louis region occurred in 2017, when a motorist struck a lion on Interstate 70 in Warren County, Zarlenga said.