We all know there are cougars living in Michigan, primarily in the Upper Penninsula but I think we sometimes tend to forget their existence here (at least I do).

Fox 2 reports that In the 13 years that the state's cougar team has been searching, they have verified at least 65 reports of a cougar traversing the Michigan wilderness.

DNR wildlife biologist, Brian Roell:

The team is made up of wildlife biologists for the DNR who have received specialized training in how to identify cougars from photos, as well as from tracks, scat and other physical evidence they may leave behind. It’s important that we’re able to identify these animals correctly, not just for conservation purposes but also so that residents can be informed about the wildlife living around them and take commonsense precautions.

The idea of coming face to face with a cougar scares the crap out of me but the DNR says there's really no reason for concern. I beg to differ, I can't imagine an encounter like that would end well for me.

They say there's no evidence that a breeding population of cougars is in Michigan. They've come to that conclusion because there's been no sign of any cougar kittens. Also because all the sightings have been males.

Kristie Sitar, a DNR wildlife biologist:

These are likely young male cougars looking for areas far from home where they can find mates and establish their own territories, and they just keep moving when they don’t find any female cougars.

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