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Confirmed cougar sighting in U.P.

Posted at 12:44 PM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 12:44:45-04

A cougar taking a stroll through Michigan's Upper Peninsula was captured by a DNR game camera.

The photos were taken at about 7:15 p.m. on October first in Gogebic County, about 9 miles north of Ironwood.

DNR biologists say it is impossible to tell whether the cougar is a male or female.

Since 2008, the DNR has confirmed 38 cougar sightings, with all but one happening in the U.P. The one exception was a confirmed report in Bath Township in June of 2017. The DNR notes that there is no conclusive evidence of a breeding population of cougars in the state, and some of the confirmed reports include multiple sightings of the same cougar.

“This latest confirmed report illustrates just how rare cougars are in the Upper Peninsula,” said Brian Roell, a DNR wildlife biologist in Marquette. “This is the first time we’ve ever caught a cougar on more than three million game camera images we’ve collected in our studies since 2009.”

Previous genetic testing samples from the carcasses of two cougars poached in the U.P showed the animals likely came from a population found in South Dakota, Wyoming and northwest Nebraska.