A cougar was located dead near where two interstates meet in Bloomington in what state conservations officials say is an extremely rare verified instance of a big cat finding its way to the Twin Cities area.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) took the cougar Tuesday morning and said it apparently was hit by a vehicle near Interstates 494 and 35W.
The animal was taken to the DNR Wildlife Research office in Grand Rapids, where it will undergo a necropsy, the agency said.
Since 2004 and through the end of 2018, the DNR has tallied 31 verified cougar sightings in Minnesota. One of those was in the Twin Cities area, coming in 2009 in Ramsey County, the DNR said.
It has yet to explain how the cougar ended up in such an unlikely location and says there is no evidence that Minnesota has a self-sustaining, breeding cougar population, as there are in the western reaches of North Dakota and South Dakota.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482
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