By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

LAWRENCE -- Mountain lions continue to intrigue the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission.

Already publicly announced, the state's fifth mountain lion was the topic of discussion last week in Lawrence.

The latest lion was confirmed in Nemaha County, photographed by a trail cam on Dec. 7 "while in the vicinity of a bait pile," said Matt Peek, furbearer biologist for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

The Nemaha lion comes two months after one was photographed in Republic County, also near a mineral site and food plot close to the Republican River.

With lions confirmed in March, when a GPS-collared Colorado lion traveled the western reaches of the state, and the October 2009 lion spotted in Trego County, there have now been five confirmed sightings.

Prior to the latest round of sightings, the last mountain lion spotted in Kansas was in 1904 near Victoria.

Sightings also have been confirmed in Missouri, including the Jan. 2 shooting of a lion about 50 miles from the Kansas border.

"A lot of our documentation has been associated with deer feeding," Peek said. "You'd expect them to be following deer trails, if for nothing else the ease of traveling."

Despite the sightings, Peek said there's been no ability to "verify there are any adult lions in Kansas living and reproducing."