The article states, “Michigan wildlife officials believe the spike in confirmed sightings is likely the result of two factors — a huge increase in the use of trail cameras, and the growth of cougar populations in other states, such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska, as well as the Dakotas.” No populations exist in Wisconsin, Minnesota or Iowa. Only one female–a possible former captive killed in Bloomington, Minnesota in 2002–has been documented in these three states. (Another female killed at Big Sandy Lake in Minnesota in 2001 was definitely a former captive. Her two kittens are now in the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.) Beyond that, only young males in search of territories have been confirmed. Without females, there can be no breeding and no populations.
‘Cougar Team’ springs into action after photo
BY MATT MARKEY
SKANEE, Mich. — The job seems difficult enough as it is — examining grainy photos of animal tracks, reviewing often wild-eyed personal accounts of close encounters, and even sorting through piles of scat — all while attempting to determine if a big cat is present or not.