Cougar

pondwelr(z5 WI)April 17, 2008

Who watched Charlie Gibson the other night on World News tonight when they showed Chicago police gunning down a cougar? The last minute comment was that it likely moved into the city from Wisconsin.

I couldnt help cringing as I watched those cops shoot. Of course, maybe they didn't have a choice. Still, one hears of wild critters in cities all over the world, and the authorities usually get aninal control people involved to sedate and capture, rather than kill.

In Dec of 07, there was a discussion on this forum about Grizzlies in WI. I commented that my son swore he saw cougars in northern Wi and MN. Now I accept the possibility that it could be. Most of us are aware of the Osprey and Eagles nesting in Mequon and Cedarburg for the first time in 100 yrs.

Darwins theorys of adaptation and natural selection seem to be showing up in my lifetime with all these wild critters learning to live in cities. It was interesting to read about, but shakes me up a bit to have the more dangerous beasties adapting to suburban yards.

Cougars and grizzlies, even black bear, roaming the streets where I live, would send me screaming.

Pondy

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macthayer(z9a NV)

I just read an article about the number of "Bobcats" in northern Wisconsin -- around 350. My husband and I checked on the map, and the locale noted was quite north. Also, please excuse my ignorance if I'm not sure if a Bobcat and a cougar is the same critter. To me they are just big cats. Yes, I did see the coverage, and it seemed quite a bit "over the top" to me. The poor animal! It must have been so frightened and confused! As far as I'm concerned, if it wasn't immediately in danger of harming someone, then there was no reason to shoot it, and every reason to try to get the animal control people there to shoot it with a tranquilizer dart so they could safely move it. That's what's wrong with out society anyway -- too much violence. Yes, we are encroaching on their territory, but what I think that means is that we have to also adapt, and develop a quick response to a sighting so the animal can be safely captured and relocated to an appropriate site. Surely we are not in danger of being over run when there are only 350 in the whole state? MacThayer

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 6:41PM
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lpptz5b

I wish I would have saved the article,I think it was in the Journal/Sentinal
The WDNR took blood samples from a cougar in SW WI.A farmer found tracks with blood in them that went into his barn/shed.The DNR sampled that blood,It turned out it was from wild stock from the N&S Dakota area.They are now asking for people in SW WI to report cougar sightings,so they can estimate the number of animals in the wild.
And no a bobcat is much smaller than a cougar,a cougar's weight is in the 100-150lb range.They can easily take down a deer size animal.
I don't think we do not have much to fear if we use our heads when in cougar territory.
I hope my facts are true as I am going on memory.

lp

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 10:15PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Katusha gave us this link in January.

tj

Here is a link that might be useful: Cougars in Wisconsin

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 10:48PM
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Kat

Lp, I found the article you were talking about. I read it too. The link is below. Just scroll down a little to 'Wisconsin'.

Kat

Here is a link that might be useful: Cougar

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 2:10AM
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mike1970(5B)

I was also sad about the Chicago cougar because it seemed like such a magnificent animal. But my understanding was that since the animal was running all around they couldn't take the chance that it would get away and hurt someone and they didn't have the equipment to trap or tranquilize it, so they had no choice. It's their job to protect the people. Also, I believe they has it cornered, but then it was charging right at one of the officers when it was shot.

Cougars and other wild cats tend to be incredibly shy and move around more at night, which explains how one could sneak into the Chicago suburbs. I have no doubt that there are some in Wisconsin and as their numbers increase and game becomes scarce in some areas they move into the more populated areas. And they're much better at sneaking around and hiding than other large animals, like a bear.

I was surprised the other day by seeing two large coyotes running through the backyard of my parent's Brookfield home. These were pretty big animals, about the size of a medium-sized dog (60-80 pounds). I know that they keep their cat inside all the time now because of this. I've also seen a deer running down the street in front of my house, and I live in the city. Also a neighbor tells the tale of a badger that was hit by a car just two streets from my house.

I guess my point is that the line between urban and rural areas are something we came up with. The animals don't notice and don't care. If they can thrive among the houses, they'll do it just fine. We shouldn't be surprised when they try it. Nature is everywhere, even in downtown Chicago.

Oh, and the procedure if you ever meet a cougar is to try to scare it away. It's pretty much just a big kitty. Puff yourself up, hold your hands over your head, yell, and throw things. This is very different from a bear encounter, where you're supposed to make yourself small, avoid eye contact, and back away slowly. But the odds of even seeing either is so low, I don't think you have anything to worry about. You're much much more likely to get crushed by an SUV. ;)

Mike

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 10:27AM
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gardenquest

my brother has acabin up near Crandon, and he has seen a Cougar, many times. He worries about the safety of the children playing outside, etc.
he wished he could shoot it, to end any possible mishaps, but knows he cannot.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 8:45PM
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pondwelr(z5 WI)

Animal Planet(I think) had a show on about close encounters with cougars. All were in the western states, and the animals were starving from the constant drought conditions and/or wildfires. In all cases, they threatened small children and pets.

With the over abundance of deer and all other game in our lush and green state, I cant believe any cougar would be starving. It is no wonder to me that animals want to live here. Predator and prey alike. When the denizens of the desert states finally run out of fresh water, they may all move here too. Our great lakes are a magnificent resourse
that no other area in the U.S. has.

Frankly, I have no idea how we could or would co-exist with the more dangerous animals. I leave that up to the experts.
Meantime, it is kind of exciting to know that cougars, wolves and bobcats are back in our state. Scarey, too.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 3:27PM
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rosanna8

Hi, Yeah I heard about the cougar in Waukesha, too, about it migrating here from the dakotas. I have a Wisconsin Wildlife Primer that I printed out from DNR website. According to their primer, cougars are native to Wisconsin, and were here from the 1700 to 1800s along with elk, bison, wolves, deer and moose, as the hunters started hunting and most of large grazers vanished the cougar and wolf population declined as well. We have coyotes here in Kenosha, living in the city. It is scary living with animals that we have not had to live with for a long time, but we will adjust I am sure.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 3:43PM
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