Police in an eastern Missouri town say they spotted a mountain lion earlier this week.

The Washington Missourian reports Gerald Police Chief Steve Goodwin followed a tip from a motorist before dawn Tuesday that a mountain lion had stopped briefly in front of his vehicle.

Goodwin and another officer went looking for the big cat and saw it in a creek bed just outside the Franklin County town.

The chief says he notified the Missouri Department of Conservation. He was told the latest reports of mountain lions in the area came from neighboring Gasconade County two to three years ago.

Conservation officials say there's little danger of a mountain lion attacking someone.

Gerald is located in Franklin County, about 60 miles west of St. Louis.

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