Mountain lion update: Possible, though no resident cougars in Wisconsin

This photo of a mountain lion or cougar is in the public domain.

This photo of a mountain lion or cougar is in the public domain.

If it was a mountain lion or cougar sighted in Twin Lakes this morning, it likely was a young animal looking to stake out its own territory, a Department of Natural Resources spokesman said.

But cougars also sometimes are mistaken for other animals, such as bobcats or coyotes, when glanced quickly. And Wisconsin is not considered a state where mountain lions reside, said Marty Johnson, DNR wildlife biologist.

A Twin Lakes resident reported seeing a mountain lion in the 600 block of Gatewood Drive at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Police responded, but did not find any evidence of the animal, such as seeing it or finding foot prints

There have been two confirmed sightings of mountain lions in Wisconsin in the past year, Johnson said. One was seen in Spooner and the other was sighted in Rock County. That animal was eventually shot in Chicago.

In addition, unidentified cat tracks found about two weeks ago near Union Grove are being investigated by the DNR to figure out their orgin, Johnson said.

One of the signs that cougars have taken up residence in an area is if they start showing up as road kill, Johnson said. That hasn’t happened here.

“At this time, we don’t believe they’ve set up shop in Wisconsin,” Johnson said.

The cougars found in the state likely were young animals that wandered afar looking for their own territory.

If you see a mountain lion you are asked to call Johnson at 262-884-2391.

The news of the sighting caused some buzz at Wheatland Center School Friday afternoon. Administrator Scott Huth was approached by a number of students while he walked the hall asking if the story was true. All students were kept indoors in the afternoon as a precautionary measure.

While reassuring one group of students in the library, Huth tried to lighten the mood.

“Just don’t go outside and start saying ‘Here kitty, kitty,'” Huth told one girl.


One Comment

  1. lion hunter says:

    Marty Johnson is an idiot. These cats are all over the state and NO they don’t end up road kill. In fact they hate the sounds of cars. The DNR is down playing a bigger issue. Now you know where all our deer are going- right?

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