Cougar Fatally Struck by Motorist on Twin Cities Freeway
Wildlife Tragedy on Interstate: Motorist Collides with Cougar
A devastating incident occurred on a freeway in the west metro when a motorist collided with a cougar, resulting in the death of the majestic feline. The collision took place on Interstate 394 near Highway 100 in Golden Valley. A video posted on social media captures the aftermath, showing an SUV with significant damage to its front-end and the lifeless body of the cougar on the side of the road. Thankfully, the driver of the vehicle suffered only minor injuries.
Unprecedented Cougar Sightings in Minnesota
In the past few days, the presence of cougars has been making headlines in Minnesota. Residents of the Lowry Hill neighborhood in Minneapolis reported multiple sightings of a cougar, sparking concern among city officials. The elusive predator was even spotted near Kenwood Park. Experts believe that the cougar may have been traveling along the popular trails near Lake of the Isles.
Rare Sightings and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
While cougars are not commonly seen in the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has verified 77 cougar sightings since 2004. Dan Stark, the DNR Wildlife Populations Manager, stated that there is no direct evidence linking the cougar struck on the freeway to the one observed in Lowry Hill. However, given the infrequency of cougar sightings in the area, it is likely that they are one and the same.
DNR Takes Possession and Assesses the Cougar
The cougar that met its unfortunate end is now in the possession of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. DNR officials will examine the animal to gather important information about its origin and history. They will determine if the cougar was being held captive and assess its overall condition. Samples will be taken and sent to the lab for further analysis.
Possible Origin of the Cougar
Conservation officials speculate that the cougar may have traveled from the Western Dakotas or Northwestern Nebraska, as there is no established cougar population in Minnesota. The nearest populations of cougars can be found in the Black Hills.
Encountering a Cougar: Safety Precautions
If you ever come face to face with a cougar, it is important to remain calm and take the following precautions recommended by the DNR:
- Make yourself appear larger by standing tall and raising your arms.
- Speak loudly and firmly to intimidate the animal.
- Do not attempt to harm the cougar, as they are a protected species.
Reporting Sightings to the DNR
If you encounter a cougar or have any information about cougar sightings, it is crucial to report the encounter to a conservation officer or local law enforcement officials. The DNR has provided a dedicated hotline for reporting cougar sightings directly at 651-296-6157.
Stay Updated on Developing Story
This story is still developing, and more information may become available soon. Stay tuned for updates on this tragic incident.
About the Author
Cole Premo is a web producer at WCCO.com, bringing breaking news, weather updates, and stories from various communities, including the Native community, in Minnesota for over a decade.
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Read More of this Story at www.cbsnews.com – 2023-12-06 18:50:00
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