CHAMPLIN, Minn., Dec. 9 (UPI) — Reports of cougars roaming the suburban Twin Cities in Minnesota have officials trying to determine if they are wild or had been released by owners.
Department of Natural Resources officials said they were not looking to capture a cougar spotted in the Minneapolis suburb of Champlin on the western edge of the Twin Cities, but they have the authority to kill it if they determine it presents a danger to humans, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Tuesday.
Tape from a dashboard camera in a police squad car showed the cougar moving among houses and crossing a road, the newspaper said.
A DNR official found a several-inch chunk of feces in a homeowner’s back yard.
“It’s the right diameter for a large cat, it’s segmented and it contains hair, though I can’t tell what kind of hair it is,” Dan Stark, the DNR’s wolf biologist and a predator expert, said.
Another cougar was seen in the St. Paul suburb of Vadnais Heights on the eastern edge of the Twin Cities by a resident Monday. Authorities deemed it a reliable sighting.
The Twins Cities metropolitan area has 3.5 million people.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International