Michigan Cougar Photo Evidence

June 24, 2010


Menominee County Cougar, June 2010, photo courtesy Michigan DNRE

The Michigan Natural Resources and Environment reports that a trail camera photo from Menominee County on May 26th is likely a cougar:

“This is the first confirmed cougar picture in Menominee County. We appreciate the cooperation of the caller who shared the photograph and contacted the DNRE,” said DNRE wildlife biologist Kristie Sitar, who is a member of the DNRE’s cougar team. “Other landowners who believe they have evidence of a cougar on their property, such as tracks or a kill site, are encouraged to contact their local DNRE field office as soon as possible, which allows staff to investigate before the evidence is compromised. Without good evidence, such as verifiable photographs or tracks, confirmation becomes increasingly difficult.”

Cougars, also known as mountain lions, originally were native to Michigan but were thought to have been extirpated around the turn of the last century. The last known wild cougar taken in Michigan was killed near Newberry in 1906. The Menominee County photograph represents the latest in a series of track and photo verifications of cougars in the Upper Peninsula. Since March 2008, five sets of tracks and two trail camera pictures have been verified in Delta, Chippewa, Marquette, Schoolcraft and now Menominee counties. The origin of the animal or animals is unknown. There have been no confirmations of breeding activity of cougars in Michigan in recent years.

If you sight a cougar or find evidence, call your local DNRE office or the 24-hour Report All Poaching line at 800-292-7800. Click through to the story for more, including tips on human/cougar encounters.

While the DNR is only prepared to admit cougars in the UP, SavetheCougar.org has reports from all over Michigan and there’s lots more at michigancougar.com.

45 Responses to “Michigan Cougar Photo Evidence”


  1. […] 2010/06/24 == michigan-cougar-photo-evidence […]

  2. thecodger Says:

    Sure looks like a cougar to me. You can’t argue with photographic evidence!

    The Codger

    http://thecodger.wordpress.com/

  3. jacobull Says:

    Taken with the same camera for bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster….ugh.

  4. Nessie Says:

    The DNR trail cams caught Bigfoot?

  5. lawyergal Says:

    i didnt know cougars live in michigan! is that normal?

  6. farlane Says:

    It hasn’t been normal but it appears that there is evidence of a cougar population.

    Getting the Department of Natural Resources to admit it has been hard, primarily because they have budget problems already and managing endangered species is expensive.

    • hisfool Says:

      Same here, NY still has not admitted it despite sightings and observation of sign by some highly qualified people. VT seems a little better, allowing that there MAY be cougars in the state.

  7. raisingable Says:

    Cool shot.
    Keep cats & small children inside!


  8. Lucky photograph and interesting to know about the range changes of the cougar population.


  9. I did not know cougars lived in Michigan. Pretty cool picture but keep kids and pets inside.

    http//www.moneyprovidesfreedom.wordpress.com

  10. Songbird Says:

    A Cougar?!?! That tail and hind legs look like a normal housecat to me…lol… (ok- a bit BIG for a housecat but….)

  11. bmj2k Says:

    Only the most hardcore cryptozoologist would “confirm” that as a cougar picture. Yes, it resembles a cougar, but at that resolution and with the lack of the head, it can’t be “confirmed” no matter what the sypporting evidencs. Cougars in Michigan? Possibly, but not confirmed.

  12. Debbie Says:

    We have mountain lions in my state as well, it is a well known fact. They are seen regularly. But it is complicated and expensive for the government it admit they are here, so they are the animal that everyone here knows we have – yet the gov. won’t acknowledge. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is not the same case in Michigan.

    Without the head being in the shot above it’s really hard to confirm. I think the photo certainly appears as if it could be a cougar. And were I to guess, I would say it probably is. But, the photo above also looks a great deal like an adolescent English Mastiff at night. The build is nearly identical, the long tail and coloration are all possible as well. And some have tight “cat like” feet.

  13. tempusflits Says:

    I’ve seen a Mastiff at night and thought, indeed, that I was being approached by a large cat. Almost scared me silly.

    But cats in any human population area are a serious deal.

  14. oldmansenechal Says:

    I’m no scientist, but it would be folly to rule out the possibility of healthy Liger population.

  15. Colin L Beadon Says:

    It is about time carnivores hunted humans again, though it won’t make much difference to our numbers.


  16. The compounding problem of “admitting” there are cougars in Michigan is that the State will then have to enforce protection and reallocate scarce funds for their management under the Michigan Endangered Species Act. When the State is already operating in a significant deficit, something like this is seriously problematic.

    • Colin L Beadon Says:

      You won’t have that problem if carnivores are allowed to do what carnivores do. Cull populations.
      Think how much it could save the State?
      We humans need to honestly start thinking about our vast numbers. It is these vast numbers, of us, which are not part of the world problem. They are the World problem. So let’s attempt to start facing it.


      • The theories of natural selection and survival of the fittest are classic models that have served this earth for millenia. Only now do we humans feel so compelled to mess with that!

  17. Chase Says:

    That’s scary. Why do cougars get so many names? I mean mountain lion, puma, catamount, panther? It’s the Puff Daddy of the animal kingdom.

  18. natinanorton Says:

    Definitely looks like a cat of some description.

    Best of luck to the people of Michigan. Much like the wolves in Yellowstone, it’d be nice to see the native cougar return and, more importantly, be protected (unlike the wolves in Yellowstone: http://www.examiner.com/x-46602-Wildlife-Headlines-Examiner~y2010m6d15-Animal-advocates-go-to-court-on-behalf-of-the-gray-wolf).

    Natina

    http://crosswordcharlie.wordpress.com/

  19. Natalya Says:

    Regardless, that is obviously not a picture of a house cat unless that cat has eaten their very plump owners…

    Cougar pictures were taken in North-Western Indiana & also Clay City, IN if I am not mistaken. A lot of sightings in those areas too. Yes, it seems surreal that a cougar (mountain lion) could be in Michigan – but crazier stuff has happened.


  20. […] about food → A Short Trip to Kukkolankoski Sven Seebeck PhotographyPosts about photography → Michigan Cougar Photo Evidence Michigan in Pictures Try a Few Reps of Composure Live for the RunPosts about world-cup → Drawn in sand for but today […]

  21. batikmania Says:

    At a glance, I thought it’s some kind of spirit ;) So, cougar is around Michigan? Are they (or is it) on their/its natural environment? Or they went to town because no more space in their own habitat.


  22. […] Menominee County Cougar, June 2010, photo courtesy Michigan DNRE The Michigan Natural Resources and Environment reports that a trail camera photo from Menominee County on May 26th is likely a cougar: "This is the first confirmed cougar picture in Menominee County. We appreciate the cooperation of the caller who shared the photograph and contacted the DNRE," said DNRE wildlife biologist Kristie Sitar, who is a member of the DNRE's cougar team. "Ot … Read More […]

  23. shenanitims Says:

    “The last known wild cougar taken in Michigan was killed near Newberry in 1906.”

    I take it Madonna (1958-Present) counts as a domesticated cougar?

  24. Dan Wade Says:

    Possibly a domesticated tabby? Could do with something to scale it against for clarification. But then again, if the experts say so……..

    http://danjswade.wordpress.com

  25. Dnoopy Says:

    Nice post…
    I think you ll like this ….
    Strange Wonders of the worlds…

    http://spade2010.wordpress.com/

  26. farlane Says:

    I do wonder if people read sometimes:

    “This is the first confirmed cougar picture in Menominee County. We appreciate the cooperation of the caller who shared the photograph and contacted the DNRE,” said DNRE wildlife biologist Kristie Sitar, who is a member of the DNRE’s cougar team.

    She’s a cougar specialist.

    It’s her job to identify cougars.

    It’s also no secret among people in the field that there are cougars all across Michigan.


  27. I hope now that they might have one some conservation efforts are taken.

  28. Austin Says:

    For the first time in over 100 years Indiana had it’s first cougar sighting. I don’t think anyone really needs to ask why we’re seeing wild animals where they weren’t before. Here they intend to trap and relocate him/her to an area safer for her/him and for people.

    Faith

  29. Ann Teliczan Says:

    I live in west Michigan and have heard cougars at night, talked to a vet that treated a horse that was attacked by a cougar nearby and have a neighbor that saw and tracked a cougar in their backyard that was preying on deer. There are definitely cougars here and they are not just in the UP.

  30. dmaz05 Says:

    information you provide is very good and interesting, thanks for the information and best friendship

  31. squirrelsloveacorns Says:

    That’s interesting, South of Rochester NY we actually have sightings of cougars and they defiantly are not supposed to be there. Another animal popping up near where I grew up are rattlesnakes. We have always had them in Letchworth State park, but they are starting to rapidly increase their numbers and start to spread. I guess we need to let the turkeys do what they did last time and keep them under control, but I’m not sure what we are going to do about the cougars coming in.

  32. newsicare Says:

    That seem a real cougar there. One of my best friends is doing some wild animal research. He stay on the mountains for a month to watch the wolf’s mate activities…

    I hope some day, I also can have chance to watch wild animals more closely.

  33. hany Says:

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  34. babytyche08 Says:

    I definitely agree the picture says it all it is a cougar. Good thing he didn’t set it’s eyes on you.

  35. farlane Says:

    Here’s a video of a cougar in Michigan! Don’t get too excited, because this one has a radio collar!

    http://record-eagle.com/email_breakingnews/x601185003/Video-Cougar-caught-on-camera

  36. snow Says:

    There have been cougar sightings for years in the u.p. Back in the late 70’s one was on my father in law’s cabin roof sunning itself. We have seen tracks for years also. Now there are cougars in NW lower. They have been seen. A couple years ago there were flyers put up at Sleeping Bear Dunes to warn hikers to be on look out. It has taken the DNR long enough to acknowledge that they are here.

  37. Rich Davis Says:

    Check out Wisconsin dnr cougar sightings.Only 1 state {out west} has put radio collars on cougars. These cats travel great distances, and could easily have been in both Wisc. & MIch. Currently, there are unconfirmed stories of a cat in Mid-MI. along the Tittabawassee River in Gladwin Co. 03/28/12

  38. farlane Says:

    Hey cats & kittens – chew on this!

    http://michpics.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/photographic-proof-of-the-michigan-cougar/

    Pretty clear photographic proof of a cougar in Marquette county!


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