Michigan DNR: 15th confirmed cougar sighting since 2008

Michigan cougar sighting verified by Department of Natural Resources

Published On: May 18 2012 01:34:14 PM EDT   Updated On: May 18 2012 02:40:30 PM EDT
DETROIT -

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Friday that it has confirmed a cougar was spotted in the state's Upper Peninsula.

This is the DNR's 15th confirmation of a cougar in the state since 2008. Before 2008, there were no cougar sightings since 1906 when a cougar was killed in Newberry.

However, since 2008, there have been 15 confirmed sightings in the state, according to the DNR.

The DNR says a photo was taken of the animal by Baraga County resident Fred Nault near Skanee on Saturday. The animal fled into the woods after Nault snapped a photo, the DNR said.

"This is the 15th time we have verified the presence of a cougar in the Upper Peninsula since our first confirmation in 2008," said DNR wildlife biologist Adam Bump in a news release. "This is the first confirmation in 2012, and the first verified photo of a cougar taken in person and not by a remote camera."

The DNR says cougar sightings are more common than verifications of sightings due to lack of evidence in most cases.

The department advises Michiganders to report cougar tracks and any evidence of the animal in the state. Reports can be called in at 800-292-7800.

Cougars are an endangered species in Michigan. It is illegal to kill or harass the animals unless it is in self-defense.

To learn more about cougars in Michigan go to www.Michigan.gov/cougars.