A cougar (a/k/a puma, mountain lion, painter, panther) was killed in a car accident in Milford, Connecticut, on Saturday, June 11, 2011. Authorities say the cat (shown above) may have been the same one spotted this week in nearby Greenwich. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection says it responded to a State Police call about 1 a.m. Saturday morning reporting a collision between a 2006 Hyundai Tucson SUV and a cougar in the area of Exit 55 of Route 15 in Milford. The felid died of injuries in the crash, but the SUV driver was uninjured. Connecticut DEP says it’s possible and even likely that the cougar killed early Saturday morning is the same cat that’s been roaming around Greenwich this month. The animal was last seen Sunday on the campus of a college prep school. The 140-pound male cat is at a DEP facility where his body, along with paw prints and other specimens are being analyzed and tested to determine if it is the same cat seen in Greenwich. There is no native population of cougars in Connecticut, the DEP says, and the eastern mountain lion has been declared extinct by federal authorities. They are able to roam long distances, according to the DEP. Milford is about 40 miles north of Greenwich, which DEP says would have easily been within the cat’s roaming range.
Latest findings confirm the cougar was a female. As opposed to what is being told the public, there are confirmed sightings of another cougar (the mate of the dead one??) in the Greenwich area on Sunday night, June 12th, and in the Milford area. New Tracks have been confirmed by local animal control officer, who has training from a school of animal tracking. New tracks show second adult cougar, at site of an eaten and partially covered and eaten deer on Sunday evening. Wounds indicate the cougar that took down the deer had its claws and teeth, based on the wounds, less than a mile from where the female was killed.
Thanks to Jim Boyd for the news tip, and additional details via John Lutz.