A Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife officer reportedly shot and killed a mountain lion on a Bourbon County farm this week, marking the first confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in the state since before the Civil War.

Mark Marraccini, a spokesman for the agency, said a farmer discovered the animal in a tree Monday and alerted the department, The Courier-Journal reported.

When the officer responded, he found the giant cat trapped in another tree by a barking dog and decided to "dispatch it," according to the newspaper.

Marraccini told the newspaper it was nearing dark when the mountain lion was found and that the officer was concerned it might escape into the night and harm people in a nearby city. 

Mountain lions were once native to Kentucky but were killed off about 150 years ago. 

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