The man claimed that the cougar walked under a streetlight in a well-lit area. In June , a mountain lion was killed on the Merritt Parkway in Milford, but genetic testing by DEEP showed that the specimen was from South Dakota and had traveled across the country. A woman reportedly saw another cougar in New Canaan two years ago, but wildlife officials found the paw prints inconclusive. For conspiracy theorists, Officer Hilli says that he has nothing to gain by denying or hiding the existence of mountain lions—Connecticut is already home to other large predators including black bears, fishers and coyotes.
Do you hope they make a comeback? Eastern mountain lions, or pumas or cougars, were last officially seen in Connecticut near the end of the 19th century. So those wanting to stir up a panic should calm down and wait for official confirmation. Since eastern mountain lions recently were declared extinct, authorities initially thought the cat might have escaped from captivity. As for what people have seen, he thinks people either mistake bobcats or coyotes for mountain lions. Officer Hilli says that it's always possible that someone might see an actual mountain lion in the state, but if they do, he thinks it's most likely to be an escaped one—apparently, the idea of keeping large exotic cats is not crazy to some people, and when they tire of them, they just let set them free in the woods. He points out that in states like Florida where they are known to be, authorities will regularly find a carcass of a mountain lion hit by a car on a road at least once a month—there hasn't been one single carcass recovered here yet. April, by Ray Bendici Filed Under: He also says there's been no other evidence found: He mentioned that once while on patrol, he thought he had seen mountain lion cross the road in front of him. Officer Hilli says that if someone thinks that they have seen a mountain lion, he suggests that they clear out a section of woods, set up a bunch of trail cameras, put out some bait and wait to see if they get any actual footage or images of a mountain lion. Other signs that he was a wild animal included the fact he was not declawed, neutered or implanted with a microchip but did have porcupine quills embedded in his tissues. However, wildlife officials say residents should keep an eye on their pets just in case this does turn out to be an official sighting. A woman reportedly saw another cougar in New Canaan two years ago, but wildlife officials found the paw prints inconclusive. Actually, they do migrate through the area due to our exploding white tailed deer population. If they do get a good picture or legitimate video, he recommends then contacting the EnCon police. But as farms disappeared and land reverted to forest, habitats for larger mammals grew. That said, it might never come. After years of alleged sightings, the DEP still does not believe in the possibility that there may be big cats again on the prowl here, suggesting that they were either misidentified bobcats or coyotes, and that there are absolutely no cougars in Connecticut aside from those hanging out at the casinos looking for young boy toys. In June , a mountain lion was killed on the Merritt Parkway in Milford, but genetic testing by DEEP showed that the specimen was from South Dakota and had traveled across the country. Fish and Wildlife Service is a little bit more open about the subject as the Northeast Region office has established a good website on the subject , welcoming eyewitness reports and other evidence to conclusively prove the return of these elusive creatures. Of course, like with many mystery creatures, until an actual specimen is caught digging through garbage cans behind the Capitol in Hartford, the debate will continue. When he stopped to investigate, however, he discovered it had only been coyote. Young male cougars disperse from where they were born looking for territory and mates, experts said. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the big cats! Sadly, this article wasn't transferred to the magazine's new site.
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