Cougars Calling Wisconsin Home Once Again
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has recently again confirmed what area residents and hunters have known for several years: cougars are back in Wisconsin. Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are one of three wild cats native to Wisconsin. Cougars left the state around 1910 but have been making brief appearances in Wisconsin since the 1940s. However, recent sightings in many parts of the state, including those in Dunn, St. Croix, and Burnett Counties, indicate that cougars may be back to stay. The DNR is seeking the public’s help in order to assess the current cougar population in Wisconsin. If individuals spot a cougar in person or on camera, they are encouraged to complete the DNR’s online form: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/forms/rare_mammal.asp
Although attacks on humans are rare, the DNR advises that if a cougar approaches or does not immediately flee, individuals should stand tall, wave their arms, throw stones or other objects and yell. Individuals should not run but instead slowly back away, keeping their eyes on the cougar.