ST. PAUL, Minn. — Many Minnesotans likely won’t forget the reports of a couple of years ago that a cougar was making its way around the northern Twin Cities suburbs.
That adventurous cat eventually made it all the way to Connecticut, where [she] was killed by a car.
A report from the University of Minnesota researcher published in The Journal of Wildlife Management notes that cougars like that one are slowly expanding their range eastward returning to areas where they were a century ago.
Cougars… once lived across most of the country. Long pushed into mountainous hideouts, they’re making a comeback. Many of them roam from the Black Hills of South Dakota, where at least 220 of them live.
U of M doctoral student Michelle LaRue has been compiling confirmed sightings and physical evidence collected by agencies and a non-profit group called the Cougar Network.
LaRue found 178 cougar confirmations in the Midwest, with numbers steadily increasing over the last 20 years. That may not sound like a lot of sightings, but LaRue said the team was very particular about the evidence it accepted.