Officials: Mountain lion traveled from South Dakota to Connecticut
Connecticut officials prepare the mountain lion for a necropsy. A car struck the animal in Milford, Connecticut, in June.
July 27th, 2011
10:18 AM ET

Officials: Mountain lion traveled from South Dakota to Connecticut

The first wild mountain lion confirmed in Connecticut in 100 years traveled to the northeastern state from the Black Hills of South Dakota, Connecticut officials say.

The mountain lion was killed when a car struck it in Milford, Connecticut, on June 11. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said genetic tests proved the animal's origin. Connecticut has no native population of mountain lions.

"This mountain lion traveled a distance of more than 1,500 miles from its original home in South Dakota - representing one of the longest movements ever recorded for a land mammal and nearly double the distance ever recorded for a dispersing mountain lion," agency Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said in a news release.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service Wildlife Genetic Laboratory in Missoula, Montana, matched DNA taken from droppings, blood and hair found at the location of mountain lion sightings in Minnesota and Wisconsin in 2009 and 2010 with DNA taken from the Milford animal, Connecticut authorities reported. Other mountain lion sightings in Minnesota and Wisconsin as well as Michigan are believed to be of the same animal, authorities said.

Despite the mountain lion's death, Esty said it was evidence of progress in protecting the environment.

“A wild mountain lion traveling through our state is certainly an anomaly,” he said in the release. “It is, however, a strong symbol of what we all hope for - that wilderness areas and biological diversity can be preserved and protected.  Thankfully, through the hard work and dedication of conservationists, wildlife experts and everyone who cares about our environment and natural resources our state and nation have made great progress in achieving this goal.”
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Filed under: Animals • Connecticut • Mountain lions • South Dakota
soundoff (457 Responses)
  1. Sunnysideup

    Poor mountain lion at least it got to travel and see life. I don't like this picture though. Not fond of seeing pictures of dead animals' faces. We wouldn't show pictures of a dead human's face so why a mountain lion's?. Bleh!

    July 27, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not so sure

      Remember a guy named Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi? When the US killed him in Iraq, in a bombing raid, his death photos were all over news sites. Guess our country loves gore.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bonita

    Lisa- it is ok for them to post bloody humans though?

    July 28, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. Reverend Slappy

    Has anyone seen my puddy tat? Here, kitty, kitty...
    Well, hell.
    That just sucks.

    July 28, 2011 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Alex

    Genetic testing on mountain lions and lion scat...... and does anyone need to look any further to see why the gov has spent and borrowed us into financial chaos

    July 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Marielaf Nicolat

    Thanks so much for providing individuals with an extraordinarily wonderful opportunity to read from this web site. It is often very pleasing plus packed with amusement for me and my office colleagues to visit the blog at the least 3 times weekly to see the latest guides you have got. Of course, we are at all times pleased concerning the stunning thoughts served by you. Certain two ideas in this article are in fact the finest I've had.

    July 5, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. steven spear

    Its funny that they havent reported a big cat in the state for over a hundred years, my father lives in central maine and was on his way to a favorite fishing spot at moosehead lake where he had seen a cougar for a moment hope in the road then into the under brush. rare sighting for them, but we see them in southern california quite alot

    October 9, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
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