After being eradicated from most midwestern states, the cougar is finally making a comeback, including in Wisconsin. Here is an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
From the article:
“Cougars are again spreading across the Midwest, including in Wisconsin, a century after the generally reclusive predators were hunted to near extinction in much of the region, according to a new study billed as the first rigorous statistical look at the issue.
The findings, detailed in the Journal of Wildlife Management, showed 178 cougar confirmations in the Midwest and as far south as Texas between 1990 and 2008. While confirmed sightings of Midwest cougars were sporadic before 1990, when there were only a couple, that number spiked to more than 30 by 2008, the study shows.
In Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources has recorded sightings of cougars since 2008 after the big cats disappeared from the state in about 1910. However, for years before this, residents had reported seeing cougars, but the DNR couldn’t confirm the reports.”
Of course this should be hailed as great news, but as usual the anti-predator “barstool biologists” have to start panicking. Here is a comment that follows the article:
“The actual mountain lion population is clearly increasing in WI. The DNR kept claiming that it was just a few males looking for mates. Apparently they found some, we are seeing cougar cubs now. It isn’t stray males anymore, it is a breeding population. Contrary to the article, in WI while cougars supposedly don’t exist, they are protected- it is not legal to shoot one. Maybe that will change after a few deaths/attacks, but by then we will be infested with them.”
Of course there is absolutely nothing to back up this claim and it is more fear mongering from the usual suspects. It’s funny how people like this claim to be such big “tough guys” but start wetting their pants whenever the mere mention of a predator comes up. Just like with the wolf there is nothing to back up their claims except the typical rural “the sky is falling” fear mongering.
I wonder how long it will be before George Meyer, Scott Suder, and the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association start pressing for allowing packs of vicious dogs to go after the tiny number of cougars in Wisconsin just as they have for wolves?