A cougar was found dead near where two interstates meet in Bloomington in what state conservation officials say is an extremely rare verified instance of the big cat turning up in the Twin Cities area.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recovered the adult male cougar about 6:45 Tuesday morning and said it apparently was hit by a vehicle on eastbound Interstate 494 near the exit to northbound I-35W.
The 115-pound animal was taken to the DNR wildlife research office in Grand Rapids, where it will undergo a necropsy, the agency said.
“The necropsy may help determine, among other things, if it’s wild and where it might have originated,” DNR spokesman Harland Hiemstra said Wednesday.
So far, Hiemstra said, examiners have found “no obvious indication it was captive. [It] has all claws, no external tags or marks, etc.”
The next moves are to have a tooth tested for aging