A trail camera in Houghton County captured the image of a cougar on September 24, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR confirmed the cougar and noted that it has a collar on its neck, much like the animal caught on video in Ontonagon County on September 8.
"This is almost certainly the same cat as was confirmed in Ontonagon County on September 8," said Adam Bump, DNR Wildlife Biologist. "What is also interesting is that the Wisconsin DNR earlier verified two trail camera pictures of this cat as it passed through Wisconsin on its way to the U.P."
The DNR is still researching where the cougar is from and have been checking frequencies from collars of cats from South Dakota. Only western states currently have cougars collared for research.
Cougars were native to Michigan until the turn of the last century. The last wild cougar was killed near Newberry in 1906.
"Cougars could have been filtering into Michigan for many, many years," said Brian Roell of the DNR. "They're just at such a low level that it's very hard to detect them. And with trail cameras becoming so popular, it's no wonder that we're picking up these few individuals."
Evidence of cougars include tracks, which are about three inches long by three-and-a-half inches wide without claw marks, and suspicious kill sites, such as a deer largely intact and buried by sticks and debris.
Contact your local DNR office if you find evidence of a cougar presence in your area, or call the Report All Poaching line at (800) 292-7800.
If you encounter a cougar, the DNR recommended these tactics:
- Stop, stand tall, pick up small children and do not run.
- Do not approach the animal.
- Try to appear larger than the cougar. Never take your eyes off the animal or turn your back. Do no crouch down or try to hide.
- If the animal displays aggressive behaviors, shout, wave your arms and throw rocks. The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger.
- If a cougar attacks, fight back aggressively and try to stay on your feet. Do not play dead. Cougars have been driven away by people who have fought back.