Friday, March 6, 2009

DNR to curtail efforts to capture mountain lion for time being

SPOONER, Wis – After several attempts to capture and radio collar a mountain lion in Burnett County this week the Department of Natural Resources plans to leave the animal alone for the time being. The mountain lion discovered on Monday near a private residence was the second confirmed sighting of such an animal in over 100 years in the state.

Wildlife biologists had hoped to capture the animal, take a blood sample and place a radio collar around its neck and then released it back into the wild unharmed.

“These animals are very quick and agile and we could not make a clean capture,” said Ken Jonas, wildlife supervisor, “after three days of trying to get the animal we decided to leave it alone.” He added staff did not want to stress the animal even though young male lion appeared in good health.

Mountain lions are listed as “protected wild animals” in Wisconsin which means a permit would be required from DNR before someone could kill one. The public is encouraged to contact the DNR office in Spooner (715) 635-2101 if they sight this animal. DNR officials are also asking the public to leave the animal alone.

The last known wild mountain lions, also called cougars, catamount, or puma, in Wisconsin disappeared during the early part of the 20th Century. Although reports of cougars have been received around the state over the ensuing years, none have been documented as wild cats since the early 1900s. The first confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in the state was last January when one was spotted near Milton, Wisconsin. That animal was later killed in a suburb outside of Chicago.

There have been several instances of captive cougars in Wisconsin escaping into the wild before recapture or disappearance. Mountain Lions have been documented in Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.

Above Photo: Treed Cougar - WDNR Photo

Webmeister Note: I realize this doesn't have anything to do with fishing but... I thought it was kind of interesting. What if you were out on a trout stream fishing. Wouldn't you like to know if there was a big Kitty Kat in the area?

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