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Connecticut Cougar Killed

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 13th, 2011

A cougar (a/k/a puma, mountain lion, painter, panther) was killed in a car accident in Milford, Connecticut, on Saturday, June 11, 2011. Authorities say the cat (shown above) may have been the same one spotted this week in nearby Greenwich. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection says it responded to a State Police call about 1 a.m. Saturday morning reporting a collision between a 2006 Hyundai Tucson SUV and a cougar in the area of Exit 55 of Route 15 in Milford. The felid died of injuries in the crash, but the SUV driver was uninjured. Connecticut DEP says it’s possible and even likely that the cougar killed early Saturday morning is the same cat that’s been roaming around Greenwich this month. The animal was last seen Sunday on the campus of a college prep school. The 140-pound male cat is at a DEP facility where his body, along with paw prints and other specimens are being analyzed and tested to determine if it is the same cat seen in Greenwich. There is no native population of cougars in Connecticut, the DEP says, and the eastern mountain lion has been declared extinct by federal authorities. They are able to roam long distances, according to the DEP. Milford is about 40 miles north of Greenwich, which DEP says would have easily been within the cat’s roaming range.

Source.

Latest findings confirm the cougar was a female. As opposed to what is being told the public, there are confirmed sightings of another cougar (the mate of the dead one??) in the Greenwich area on Sunday night, June 12th, and in the Milford area. New Tracks have been confirmed by local animal control officer, who has training from a school of animal tracking. New tracks show second adult cougar, at site of an eaten and partially covered and eaten deer on Sunday evening. Wounds indicate the cougar that took down the deer had its claws and teeth, based on the wounds, less than a mile from where the female was killed.

Thanks to Jim Boyd for the news tip, and additional details via John Lutz.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


9 Responses to “Connecticut Cougar Killed”

  1. Redrose999 responds:

    Animals don’t care about borders. This is why I think we’ve got big cats like cougars on the East Coast. Pity the authorities can’t be convinced. We had one cross the road a year back or so, don’t think they’ve ever found the “owner” of said big cat.

  2. JTDrenning responds:

    I managed to catch a picture of a cougar on one of my trail cams here in WV two years ago. As always, nobody believed the picture had actually been taken in WV, even though there have been routine sightings for as long as I can remember. Seems that for some people, unless the DNR issues a press release verifying it’s presence, no amount of indisputable proof can convince them otherwise.

  3. maslo63 responds:

    Though I believe there may be cougars living in the east this sounds like a released pet to me. The animal was spotted near Greenwich which is a very wealthy community and fairly close to NYC, sounds like the sort of place where people would be keeping exotic pets. The fact that it has been spotted recently indicates the same to me as these are secretive animals. A pet cougar set free would likely not be as fearful of people and be seen more often.

  4. flame821 responds:

    Maslo63, I respectfully disagree,

    I know we have cougars/pumas in Pennsylvania. And I see no reason why they wouldn’t spread out to neighboring states as their populations increase. Each litter can be anywhere from 2 – 6 kits, say each year half survive to reproduce. So 1-3 per year, say a general reproductive span of 5 years; so average 15 kits per year from each single female. And, like feral cats, those numbers increase exponentially.

    Cougars tend to be solitary and depending on the availability of prey their territories can be anywhere between 25 square miles, up to 100 square miles. I am assuming low predation rates as they tend to be apex predators and I don’t think their populations are large enough at this point that the males would need to fight/kill each other over territories or mates.

    While it is possible that some yahoo was keeping a pair of dangerous felid as pets, the chances of both of them escaping at the same time is (I would hope) very high and while most cougars are reported to be of the “I won’t eat it unless I kill it myself” school of thought, several California Cougars have been documented scavenging. and as these versatile predators eat anything from insects to amphibians, fowls to large mammals they can pretty much survive anywhere in the continental USA.

    Add to that the ‘burden’ that many Park and EPA employees have placed on them to NOT encourage the official census of this animal due to public fear, land rights and other monetary concerns and its not surprising that we don’t hear more about these animals from official sources. However a quick google shows an amazing amount of eye witness testimony and even a good amount of reasonable photos showing these large felids where they are not ‘officially’ supposed to be. My guess is the media got a hold of this before EPA could deny it was anything other than a fluke. The necropsy will probably tell us more than any of our guessing can and I will be interested to see if the animal shows any signs of professional vet care, maybe a microchip or other identifying marker, or if it shows the wear and tear of a life in the wild.

  5. zigoapex responds:

    I never,seen bigfoot,nessie,ogo pogo,ufos,aliens,ghost etc… but I did see 2 mountain lions in north east Pennsylvania,about 3 miles apart,1st one an adult, was in 1985 crossing rt 6.
    and the second was in 2003 and it was a young one(maybe 60- 70 lbs ?) still showing spots.

    Before someone says”they were probably bobcats”they were not,as both sightings were in daylight and my line of sight was not obstructed in any way.I was easily able to make out the ears and tail that is almost as long as the body.the 1st one was about 60 yds and the 2nd was 12 yds tops. if you know the difference between a mountian lion and a bobcat, you would never make the mistake of misidentifying them.

    I have seen my share of bobcats over the years,witch are really making a comeback.

    People don’t realize that there are less people in the woods today than ever.
    Hunting is a dying sport,less people go hiking,picking berries,etc.. especially since the outbreak of Lyme’s disease.
    Docile animals today have able space to hunt and stay out of sight.

  6. TimmyRyan65 responds:

    I’m suprised that no official has given the ole “it’s probably someone’s exotic pet” line yet! I live in Maine and you hear about big cat sightings in the state even in the southern part of the state like Cape Elizabeth. Tracks have been found, it’s scat, some pictures and the state wildlife officials still deny the possibility. What’s the big deal acknowledging these animals exist in New England?

  7. DWA responds:

    I’m wondering whether, with the recent declaration that the Eastern cougar is extinct, the bureaucratic-denial index might be redlining with subsequent sightings.

    If the coyote did it, there is absolutely no reason the mountain lion couldn’t. They need much bigger territories, and are much more cryptic, which means the expansion – if there has been one which no reasonable person in command of the information would bet against – has been going on longer than anyone thinks.

    If you have little kids, and hike with them, do not let them out of your sight. Just saying.

  8. korollocke responds:

    Nothing like a body to examine to prove something exist! To see if was a pet or wild can easily be done by a vet/biologist doing a postmortem autopsy. A pet will not have the wear and tear, diet and muscle development of a wild animal due to being confined to a small pen/enclosure.

  9. maslo63 responds:

    Flame, I outlined in the beginning of my statement that I agreed cougars likely live in the East so while the information you give is great I already know it all and agree with it all. What I was trying to say is that this particular animal is in my opinion likely a released/escaped pet given it’s proximity to high human populations and urban environments. I don’t recall reading that there were two different individuals, only that one was seen the week prior which could very well be the same one killed in the road.
    To clarify again, I am open minded to the presence of “eastern” cougars, that does not rule out the occasional escaped pet which may even be contributing to the wild population.



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