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7.27.11
Connecticut Mountain Lion
Walked From South Dakota

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials believe the mountain lion killed by a car in Milford in June probably traveled 1,500 miles from its birthplace in the Black Hills of South Dakota before dying on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Connecticut, according to a report in the Hartford Courant.

This mountain lion's trip was the longest one documented for a mountain lion and quite possibly the longest undertaken by a mammal in North America, said DEEP wildlife biologist Paul Rego.

Young male cougars often roam up to 100 miles in search of breeding opportunities, open habitat and food resources, said Rego, but this cat's journey was an anomaly, more than double the longest previously documented journey of about 640 miles.

Genetic testing revealed that the big cat came from a wild breeding population of about 250 mountain lions in the southwest corner of South Dakota, the Black Hills area, results released Tuesday afternoon revealed. No one knows why the animal a lean, 140-pound male between 2 and 4 years old undertook a journey across the continent. But its travels were documented through Minnesota and Wisconsin, and biologists speculate that the cat then wandered through southern Ontario and New York before reaching Connecticut.

To read more, visit http://www.courant.com/news/breaking/hc-mountain-lion-dna-20110726,0,3798831.story
 

 

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