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Louisiana confirms first cougar sighting in more than five years

By Ben Hooper
Louisiana wildlife officials confirmed this photo shows Louisiana's first confirmed cougar since 2011. Photo courtesy of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Louisiana wildlife officials confirmed this photo shows Louisiana's first confirmed cougar since 2011. Photo courtesy of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

BATON ROUGE, La., Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Wildlife officials in Louisiana released a photo of the first cougar confirmed in the state in more than five years.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries this week released the Nov. 23 photo, taken by a trail camera in the northeastern part of the state.

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The department said the mountain lion is the first confirmed in the state since August 2011, when a cougar was snapped by a different trail camera.

"It is quite possible that this animal could be photographed on other trail cameras placed at deer feeders," said Maria Davidson, the department's Large Carnivore Program manager. "It is unlikely this cougar will remain in any one area longer than it would take to consume a kill. It is impossible to determine if the animal in the photograph is a wild, free-ranging cougar or an escaped captive."

The department said most reports of cougars in Louisiana are later found to have been bobcats or house cats.

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