Despite Recent Cougar Sightings, Minnesota DNR Maintains They Aren’t Breeding Here
Ok, hold your cougar breeding jokes aside for a second. I've already got like a dozen in mind right now, but it's all low-hanging fruit.
There's been a rash of mountain lion sightings in Minnesota recently. Some of them have been in pretty densely populated areas, like Minneapolis.
Earlier this week a door camera caught a cougar prowling through a neighborhood just two miles from Minneapolis. It happened early in the morning, and fortunately, nobody encountered the wild cat.
Many people claim to have seen a cougar, but sometimes it's a case of mistaken identity. I personally have only seen a mountain lion once in Minnesota in all my times outdoors hunting and fishing.
At first, I wasn't sure what I was seeing, but the long tail gave it away. It was a large cat, and I couldn't believe how long the tail was. It was the longest tail I've seen on any cat.
Bobcats are more common in Minnesota, along with the Canadian Lynx. The Minnesota DNR says the mountain lions are transient. A recent one found actually came from Nebraska. Others come from the Dakotas, where they do have confirmed breeding populations.
According to the DNR's research, there are no breeding populations of mountain lions in Minnesota. If you happen to see one it's likely just passing through.
Still, many people argue with this as they report seeing mountain lions more frequently than they would expect.
The DNR maintains that it is still very rare to encounter a mountain lion, but if you do there are a few things you should do if caught in a bad situation.
- Face the animal
- raise your arms,
- speak loudly
- try to appear larger
- do not run, crouch, or lay on the ground. Those could trigger the predator reaction from the cat
If you do believe you witnesses a mountain lion, you should contact your local DNR office.
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Gallery Credit: Dom DiFurio & Jacob Osborn