Family Has Plan for American Mountain Lion - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Family Has Plan for American Mountain Lion

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A brother and sister are traveling the US making a documentary in hopes to persuade people and congress to make the mountain lion America's national cat.

The two stopped in Billings. They said the cat represents the healthy balance America needs. "The more I got to learn about them the more fascinated I was about them. This is specifically related to America. They are truly an American animal. You think about the courage, the strength, and the adaptability. These are things that define us as Americans, as well," American Lion Campaign Founder, Megan Walters said.

Megan said the mountain lion population is shrinking, which throws off the balance in the ecosystem nationwide. Megan said she is hoping to ensure government protection for these big cats. "We are looking to, just to clarify, not replace the bald eagle, but come along side the bald eagle. The eagle represents the regal, the grace, and the beauty. The mountain lion represents that balance American needs and has," Walters said.

The Walters family traveled to 16 states to spread awareness. "For the most part, we've gotten some very good response. People are very curious about it, and once we start talking to them they're very open to what we're doing and learning more about it," Walters said.

Matthew Walters said the campaign promotes the idea that people and mountain lions can reach a healthy balance. "Our research, and a lot of what we're trying to do is to make sure people and these cats are affected as least as possible," Matthew said.

Matt and Megan are traveling to Idaho next. There, Megan said she will learn how the greater-mountain lion population could affect livestock.

So far, Megan and Matt have a petition with 725 signatures to make the mountain lion a national symbol. The petition will need at least 100,000 signatures for congress to review. If you would like to learn more about the campaign, you can click on Connections.