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DNR confirms cougar sightings in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Department of Natural Resources biologists confirmed four photos of a cougar wandering through Douglas County in mid-November.

Two of the photos were captured on the same day on two properties roughly 2.5 miles apart in the Foxboro area. Three days later, an additional two photos were captured on separate properties in the Bennett area, roughly 4.5 miles apart.

It is unknown whether this cougar is the same animal photographed on multiple trail cameras in central Wisconsin between early August and late October 2017.

Minnesota DNR staff confirmed two photos of a cougar near the Iowa border in early September 2017, this confirmation coincided with confirmed trail camera photos of a cougar in Marathon County during a similar time period. Without biological material for genetic testing, there can be no confirmation whether the cougar photographed in Douglas County is one of these animals.

According to the DNR, there is currently no evidence that cougars are breeding in Wisconsin. Biologists believe the cougars known to have entered Wisconsin are male cougars dispersing from a breeding population in the Western United States.

Cougars are a protected species in Wisconsin and cannot be shot unless attacking a human or a domestic animal. Cougar attacks on humans are very rare, and there have been no confirmed conflicts between cougars and people or domestic animals in Wisconsin.

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