DNR documenting more cougar sightings in state
More Walworth County news
For breaking Walworth County news and hourly updates, visit the WalworthCountyToday.com home page throughout the day.
This cougar was found in Burnett County near Spooner in March 2009. State Department of Natural Resources officials attempted to immobilize the animal for radio collaring, but were unsuccessful in their attempts. The sighting was one of four documented by the DNR in the past two years.
ELKHORN — Seeing is believing.
That’s the mindset the Wisconsin DNR adopted as it began documenting and confirming recent cougar sightings throughout Wisconsin.
The latest sighting came last month in Dunn County in western Wisconsin. A sighting in Milton in January 2008 was the first documented in more than a century, according to Doug Fendry, area wildlife supervisor for the Wisconsin DNR.
Wardens believe the Cougar eventually made its way to Walworth County, where it was spotted near Elkhorn.
“It is possible these (tracks) are the same cougar’s, although tracks measured at the Elkhorn site seemed somewhat larger,” Adrian Wyedeven, a DNR mammal ecologist, said.
Eventually, the big cat was shot and killed by police in Chicago.
“It all gets down to documentation,” Fendry said. “The last documented cougar in Wisconsin was in 1908.
“Since then, and really more in recent times, we’ve been getting reports of cougars in Wisconsin. People would tell us that they’d seen a cougar, but we weren’t able to get any good documentation.”
Fendry said that is changing and the information could be put to good use in the future.
“The likelihood is that we’re going to start seeing more cougars,” he said. “As the cougar population is increasing in the west, the cougars are going to continue to disperse and travel this way.”
Read the full story in the Wednesday Janesville Messenger, HERE.