Wisconsin homeowner's security camera records rare cougar sighting

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  Feb. 15, 2018 at 12:06 PM
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Feb. 15 (UPI) -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources confirmed an animal recorded by a resident's home security camera was a mountain lion.

The department shared footage captured Feb. 7 by a Washington County resident's security camera. The footage shows a cougar wandering around the sidewalk in front of the home.

Officials said there is no breeding population of mountain lions in Wisconsin, but they are occasionally spotted in the state.

"A cougar's ability to cover ground is very impressive," said Scott Walter, DNR large carnivore specialist. "As an example of their range, DNR staff collected genetic samples from a cougar in Oconto County in 2010, and this cat was subsequently killed by a vehicle in Connecticut, roughly 70 miles from New York City, after traveling over 1,100 miles."

Experts said it was unclear whether the cougar was the same animal recorded Feb. 8 by a trail camera in Fond do Lac County. Another cougar was caught on camera in mid-December in Lincoln and Langlade counties.

The researchers said all of the photos and videos might depict the same animal, but it is impossible to know for sure without genetic samples from the big cats.

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