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      Identifying cougar evidence

      Marquette County

      A total of 18 cougars have been spotted since 2008, including the two recent ones within the last two months.

      These large predators travel from the Dakotas, looking for a new habitat, and they are also looking for more packs.

      Paula Lutey writes, "I saw one a few years ago on my property in South Marquette. County towards Skandia, but have not seen it since."

      The best way to identify a cougar is if you find their tracks. Wildlife Biologist Brian Roell says they have rounded cat prints with a three lobe heel and a pointed claw.

      "If there are tracks that we could identify, we ask that you put a bucket, something like that, over it to preserve it, especially if rain is going to be forecasted," said Roell.

      There is no evidence of any breeding.

      These cats can be as big as an average person and prey on larger animals.

      "Say, if they made a kill on a deer or something of that size, they do tend to bury the carcass. So you might see leaves and everything brushed over. If you did find something like that, it would be great," Roell said.

      You are most likely to see one early morning or in the late evening.

      If you have any evidence at all, contact your local Department of Natural Resources.