Report: Cougars killed in Michigan likely born elsewhere - WNEM TV 5

Report: Cougars killed in Michigan likely born elsewhere

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Source: DNR Source: DNR

Genetic testing from two cougars found poached in the Upper Peninsula show the animals likely traveled from South Dakota, Wyoming and northwest Nebraska.

“This genetic research lines up with what we’ve presumed previously, that cougars found in the Upper Peninsula are males dispersing from this population east of the Rocky Mountains,” said Kevin Swanson, a Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife management specialist with the agency’s Bear and Wolf Program. “These males dispersed from the main population are looking to establish new territories.”

Cougars are an endangered species in Michigan and protected by law.

In 2013, officers received a tip that a cougar had been killed at a hunting camp near Seney. Investigators found the animal was shot and wounded with a rifle when it entered a field near the camp.

The next day, the cougar was tracked down and killed.

Three men from Bay City were arrested and convicted for poaching the cougar. The men served jail time, paid several thousand dollars in fines, costs and restitution, and lost hunting privileges for several years.

The DNR has confirmed 35 cougar sightings since 2008, but so far there has been no conclusive evidence of a breeding populating.

No reports have been confirmed in Lower Michigan. 

For more information on how to report a cougar sighting, click here

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