Retro-Explaining: Dead Connecticut Cougar Said To Have Been In New York…As Well As Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota And South Dakota!
Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 23rd, 2011
Mystery cat track in Lake George, New York, is now linked to a recently dead cougar. NY Department of Environmental Conservation photo.
Mountain lion killed on Rt 15, Milford, Connecticut. Michael Dinan photo.
Environmental officials say a cougar killed by a car in Connecticut traveled through upstate New York last year (2010). They contend it was a rare sighting in a state where the big cats are considered to have been extinct for more than a century.
Connecticut cougar, after removal from Rt. 15.
Cindy Eggleston reported seeing the cat in her Lake George, New York backyard in December 2010. Her husband David, a former NY Department of Environmental Conservation colonel, and NY DEC officer Louis Gerrain took pictures of the tracks and gathered hairs.
When a cat was struck and killed in June 2011 further east, analysis, it is being reported today, confirmed it was the same cougar. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation states that cougars were extirpated from the Adirondacks in the nineteenth century, though some people contend that a remnant population continues to dwell in the region.
DNA analysis of the hairs indicated that they came from the same cougar that was killed by a car on a highway in Milford, Connecticut, on June 11. Previously, DNA tests of the Connecticut cougar showed that it was the same cougar that had been tracked in Minnesota and Wisconsin and that it came from a breeding population in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
The cougar was first detected in Minnesota in December 2009 and then tracked as it wandered through Wisconsin. In May 2010, a cougar was caught on trail cameras near the border of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Scientists believe it was the same cougar. Presumably, it traveled through the Upper Peninsula into Ontario and then headed south, eventually passing through the Adirondacks.Phil Brown, Albany Times-Union
A cougar photographed in Wisconsin on January 18, 2010. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources photo.
On May 20, 2010, a trail camera photographed a young cougar in Oconto County, Wisconsin, and six days later a trail camera in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula photographed what biologists believe to be the same animal. (However, no DNA samples from these two May 2010 photographed incidents exist to definitely confirm this theory, I must point out. Loren)
Authorities believe the 140-pound male mountain lion started its journey in South Dakota and came about 2,000 miles. Mountain lions/pumas rarely traveling more than 100 miles.
Why do I get the creepy feeling that this one dead cougar in Connecticut is now being used by U.S. wildlife officials to explain several recent confirmed puma sightings in the Midwest and East – sort of like how a confessed serial killer is used to “clear the books” on unsolved murder cases?