|Reuters photo of road killed mt. lion|
(Taken from Yahoo! site)
Earlier in the month, several people reported seeing a mountain lion in a town about 45 miles from where this cat was killed. Then a resident snapped a blurry photo and the DEP investigated by measuring the tree in the photo and even used a pet dog to re-stage the scene (the dog was led to the same location as the animal photographed and since the dog is of a known size, they could determine the size of the creature in the photo). Based on that investigation, the DEP determined the critter in the photo WAS a mountain lion. Tracks were found and casts were made. The eyewitness testimony was backed up by compelling physical evidence that anyone could examine.
About one week and 45 miles later, a mountain lion is hit by a vehicle and killed. Some are claiming that these instances are proof that the state wildlife agency has been lying to the public for years. However, I am interpreting these stories differently. They show that when the DEP is presented with proof of the existence of mountain lions, they admit it and present it to the public. Secondly, they show that when these animals truly DO occur in an area, providing concrete proof of their existence is easier than some would want us to believe. The odds are good that the cat that was killed is somehow related to the mountain lion that was photographed (either the exact same individual or they share a common origin). It is less likely that they are completely unrelated and happened to both have surfaced at the same time. And it is even more unlikely that mountain lions have been wandering in Connecticut (or any other state) for decades (the length of time sightings have been reported) and only now are being photographed and hit by cars.
|Measuring mountain lion stride|
(Great Falls, Montana 2/11)