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DNR releases footage of cougar sighting

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources released Thursday video footage of a male cougar at a deer kill site in Mackinac County.

The sighting and footage are rare as Michigan doesn't have an established cougar population, DNR officials say. As of Thursday there have been 28 confirmed cougar sightings in the Upper Peninsula since 2008.

"What's interesting about this video is it's the best footage we've ever come across from a citizen," said Debbie Munson Badini, spokeswoman for the DNR. "It's a neat thing for the public to see. People appreciate being able to see the wild being wild."

The 60-second clip posted to YouTube Thursday shows the cougar repeatedly returning to the site to eat a deer. The video was provided by hunters from Remus who discovered the deer kill site. The hunters set up a trail cam which captured the footage on Dec. 10, 2014 and Dec. 11, 2014.

The state doesn't have an established cougar population, but the animal does travel through the Upper Peninsula while searching for a place to set up its territory. Most are juvenile male cougars traveling from the Dakotas, Munson Badini said.

"They travel hundreds and hundreds of miles to find what they need," she said.

There have been no confirmed sightings of cougars in the Lower Peninsula, Munson Badini said.

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

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