Disagreement over big cat spotted in Shelton|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|09/21/07 at 15:08:38|richard_f|xx|0|86.131.96.207|Disagreement over big cat spotted in Shelton



Posted Sept. 14, 2007
6:22 AM

Shelton (AP) _ Somebody saw something in Shelton that looked like a mountain lion, but experts say it couldn't have been.

Some wildlife experts say it's possible a large cat spotted by a mother and son on Wednesday, may have been a mountain lion.

However, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game say there are no mountain lions in New England.

A DEP spokesman says the department has never been able to confirm a sighting in Connecticut. He says when there are photos or other evidence, it's always mistaken identity.

A woman and her 9-year-old son who told police on Wednesday that they saw, from about 150 feet away, a large, golden-brown, catlike creature near their Monroe Road driveway.



me wildlife experts say it's possible a large cat spotted by a mother and son on Wednesday, may have been a mountain lion.

However, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game say there are no mountain lions in New England.

A DEP spokesman says the department has never been able to confirm a sighting in Connecticut. He says when there are photos or other evidence, it's always mistaken identity.

A woman and her 9-year-old son who told police on Wednesday that they saw, from about 150 feet away, a large, golden-brown, catlike creature near their Monroe Road driveway.
|| Re: Disagreement over big cat spotted in Shelton|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|09/21/07 at 15:15:26|richard_f|xx|0|86.131.96.207|Is mountain lion on prowl in Shelton?

GENEVIEVE REILLY
09/12/2007
Connecticut Post Online

SHELTON €” A mother and her son, waiting in their driveway for the school bus this morning, spotted something large and yellow €” but it was no bus.

A large, golden-brown cat-like creature was sitting about 150 feet away from their Monroe Road driveway.

The mother was sitting in the car, while her son was standing in the driveway about 9 a.m., according to police Sgt. Kevin Ahern.

When he spotted the animal, he screamed and jumped into the car for refuge. The mother drove to a neighbor's house to call police.

"When the officer got there, it was still in the yard, half-hidden behind a tree," Ahern said of the cat. "She just got a quick glimpse before it ran off into the woods."

Last month, several motorists spotted what they believed was a mountain lion a few miles away on Route 108 near Shelton Intermediate School, and Ahern said a bus driver called last Thursday to report another possible mountain lion sighting in East Village Park.

Ahern said police searched the woods near the Monroe Road home this morning, but could not find an animal matching the big cat's description.

State Department of Environmental Protection officials have said repeatedly while it is not impossible that there is a mountain lion in this region, it's unlikely.

Previous sightings of animals believed to be mountain lions have turned out to be coyotes or bobcats, the DEP has said.

"Until we get a picture of it, at this point, we don't know what it is," Ahern said. "It could have been a bobcat, but this one had a long tail," which they do not.

Police said residents should pay close attention to any signs of wildlife while outdoors and call the department at 924-1544 if an animal believed to be a mountain lion or other dangerous wildlife is sighted.

http://www.connpost.com/breakingnews/ci_6873184
-----

Kewaunee County residents report cougar sightings

Kevin Naze
Press-Gazette correspondent

State biologists refuse to rule out the possibility that a mountain lion is or has been roaming the Kewaunee County countryside, but say most state sightings end up being something else.

"I've probably gotten two dozen reports through the years," said Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Jeff Pritzl of Green Bay. "Most of them end up being canines, like a yellow lab or a coyote."

Pritzl said there were even three cases where people said they saw what they thought was an 80- to 100-pound animal, and it ended up being a feral cat of about 12 pounds.

Up north, bobcats sometimes are mistaken for mountain lions.

"That said, a day will come when we get a valid report with confirmation," Pritzl said.

As far as Algoma High School biology instructor Eric Nelson is concerned, that day is past.

On Friday night, after attending a high school football game, Nelson €” Algoma's athletics director who lives in Luxemburg €” was driving to a friend's house just west of the village.

He was turning north onto County Line Road from Church Road, when he saw what he said was a mountain lion €” some people call them cougars €” swaggering slowly across the road about 50 yards ahead.

"It was a big animal," Nelson said.

"I really noticed how the belly was lower than the head, and a big, long tail came down and then curled up. I had no doubt in my mind of what I was seeing."

Weeks earlier, an Algoma couple said they watched what they were sure was a cougar walk across a field about 2 miles southwest of the city at midday. The next week, one of their horses was injured.

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection officials investigated but said no determination could be made as to what caused the cuts on the belly and legs.

DNR conservation warden Darren Kuhn of Luxemburg said he's interested in any sightings, but a photograph, video or even a track in the mud would be even better.

"Without pictures or tracks, it's tough to say (what it was)," Kuhn said.

The Wisconsin DNR has received more than 500 reports of mountain lion sightings in the state since the mid-1990s, yet ongoing research by University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point professor of wildlife Eric Anderson has failed to find conclusive evidence.

With cougars documented in Illinois and Minnesota, and DNA evidence from cougar hair in Upper Michigan, Anderson believes it's likely that one or more big cats could be roaming the state or passing through.

In a two-year study, Anderson hasn't been able to get any confirmed mountain lion hair samples on rubbing posts in areas of northern Wisconsin with frequent mountain lion sightings.

In addition, DNR biologist Adrian Wydeven said thousands of miles of dirt and snow-covered roads are checked for tracks during winter wolf surveys, and no cougar tracks have been found.

Hunters using dogs to chase bear or bobcat haven't seen any, either.

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070913/GPG0204/709130454/1233/GPGsports
-----
||