For many years, cougars have been but a ghostly rumor in Wisconsin, showing up now and then in mysterious sightings but quickly melting again into the dusk of the forest and the realm of imagination.
Now, however, cougars are back, and state Department of Natural Resources workers must develop a plan for how to deal with a powerful animal that hasn’t lived in Wisconsin since about 1910.
The state Department of Natural Resources has confirmed three wild cougars in Wisconsin over the past two years through sightings and genetic testing, said Adrian Wydeven, a DNR wildlife biologist, and the agency has received many more unconfirmed cougar sighting reports. Though it is unclear whether the cats were resident animals or passing through, state wildlife workers need to know how to deal with them and how to prevent clashes between cougars and people as the animals move into the state.
Too bad “24” has been cancelled – we could’ve brought the show to Wisconsin for a reunion between Kim “Cougar Bait” Bauer and a cougar.