Mountain Lions in Connecticut?
With all of the talk about habitat destruction, climate change, wildlife poaching, etc. we sometimes can get caught up in the mindset that the natural world is doomed. By the time we are done messing it all up, all that will be left are the cockroaches and opossums (and maybe a few politicians too, but that's a story for another day).
But in reality, in many cases the wild world is not only alive and well, but it is also thriving in ways we are unaware of. Occasionally, we see little glimpses of this in unexpected ways.
This Saturday in Connecticut of all places, a mountain lion was hit by an SUV on a highway near Milford.
Ironically, a mountain lion was spotted a week earlier about 30 miles away in a New York City suburb. Dennis Schain, Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson, felt that it "it's possible or even likely" that the two cats are indeed one and the same. Mountain lions are known to roam great distances in search of food or mates. Photos, paw prints and other evidence will be used to try to determine if the two lions are indeed one.
Last year, a mountain lion killed in the Chicago area was found to have been tagged as a young lion in South Dakota. Lions found hundreds of miles from where they are tagged are not uncommon as their tendency is to roam in search of the best habitat in which to live.
Another possibility is that the mountain lion wasn't wild at all, but rather was a released or escaped pet. It might also have gotten loose from a research facility. Eastern Mountain Lions are declared extinct but enough sightings occur in the eastern U.S. to cast some doubt on that judgment. The closest "confirmed" lion is in Missouri, however, an Indiana State Trooper spotted a mountain lion near Bedford, IN in 2010. Almost every state east of the Mississippi River experiences at least one sighting each year.Continued on the next page