Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 19th, 2012
The Department of Natural Resources announced yesterday a confirmed cougar sighting in Baraga County in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan.
Baraga County resident Fred Nault spotted the animal near Skanee on May 5 and was able to snap a picture. The confirmed sighting in the Upper Peninsula comes almost two months following the cougar sightings in Ann Arbor near the University of Michigan’s North Campus.
DNR Wildlife Division staff members were contacted by Nault and visited the property this Tuesday to verify the location.
The cougar was spotted crossing a road when Nault, who happened to have a camera, took a picture before the animal fled into the woods [seen above].
DNR Wildlife specialist Adam Bump said the department is beginning to see a few scattered cougars moving back into the state.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we know cougars have established populations in the Dakotas, so we’re starting to see a lot of dispersal and for whatever reason they’re heading east,” Bump said. “We’re starting to get more frequent cougar movement.”
University of Michigan Police Lt. Bob Neumann said the university has not seen or heard anything since the end of March.
“We haven’t heard a thing,” Neumann said.
Bump said if a cougar was actually in the Ann Arbor area, the DNR would have received more calls of potential sightings. Even so, Bump didn’t completely rule out the possibility of an actual sighting.
“I can’t say for sure because I don’t have any pictures but I must say it does seem unlikely,” he said.
Prior to that, the last confirmed cougar in the state was an animal killed near Newberry in 1906.
The DNR said possible cougar sightings are regularly reported throughout the state, but verification is often difficult, due in part to a lack of physical evidence.
Read further from the source: AnnArbor.com