GARFIELD TOWNSHIP – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has confirmed two recent photos of a cougar in the eastern Upper Peninsula, marking the 25th and 26th times cougar evidence has been verified in the U.P.
One of the photos was taken with a camera phone in late October on private property near Chippewa County’s Raber Township. The other was taken in early November by a trail camera on public land in Mackinac County near Garfield Township.
With the verification of these two photos, the DNR has now confirmed the presence of cougars in 11 Upper Peninsula counties 26 times since 2008. The animals are believed to be young individuals dispersing from established populations in the Dakotas in search of new territory; there is no evidence of a breeding population of cougars in the state.
The DNR’s Wildlife Division welcomes citizen reports of possible cougar evidence or sightings. Cougar photos and other evidence – such as tracks, scat or cached kills – should be reported to a local DNR office or through the DNR’s online reporting form at www.michigan.gov/cougars.