Milford Connecticut Mountain Lion Walked Almost 2,000 Miles

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DNA has finally proven that the mountain lion that was struck and killed June 11th on a road in Milford Connecticut, was indeed traced back to South Dakota. DNA was matched from hair and cat scat.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Daniel Esty held a news conference stating that the animal originated from the Black Hills of South Dakota. They were able to match DNA from a mountain lion that had moved across Minnesota, and Wisconsin in 2009 & 2010. The 2,000 mile trek is the longest recorded by a mountain lion, they seldom travel more than 100 miles.

At first the mountain lion was believed to have been someone's pet that had been released or that had escaped, but the mountain lion was not neutered or declawed which is usually a signature move with domestic "pets."

This mountain lion was the first one in Connecticut in 100 years. DEEP think its a sign of how well their conservation programs have worked, that they were able to create habitat for a mountain lion. After the mountain lion was killed there were reports of other sightings of mountain lions in the area, but most have been deemed unreliable. DEEP states there are no native mountain lions in Connecticut. From The Middletown Press.

Thank you to Tndeerhunter and Ca_Vermonster for posting in the forums and bringing this story to our attention.


hunter25's picture

I've seent he story may times

I've seent he story may times now but it's still amazing every time. It's too bad he got hit by a car and killed but at least it shows that there could be some credability to the sightings reported in some of these areas. If he really got there by walking then maybe this is not as isolated an event as people are thinking. As secretive as they are this wandering may be more common than we think. Not all of them of course but a few here and there. If he hadn't gotten hit by the car we would have nver even known about it.


deerhunter30's picture

That sure is a long way to go

That sure is a long way to go for a mountain lion. Wonder what made it travel so far and why.

It kind of funny how a mountain lion gets hit and all of a sudden other people start seeing them. Makes you wonder what people get out of that.  Then again maybe they did see one, but when they have not had a mountain lion in there state for 100 years its highly doubtful that they are there know.

arrowflipper's picture

An incredible journey

Wow, what an incredible journey! Wonder what prompted the big cat to travel that far? Was it in search of a better food supply? I don't know of much else that might motivate an animal to cover such a huge distance..... Unless it was sex?

Maybe this cat was looking for a mate? I would be much more inclined to go with this theory than the food issue. It traveled through some game rich areas on the way to Connecticut. Not too much else motivates like that drive.

Another question I'd have is where someone came up with good cat scat to do DNA checks on?? Does someone collect that stuff for future testing? Or why would they look for cat scat 2000 miles from where they found the dead cat? I wonder how much money is spent on collecting cat scat?

There seems to be a surplus of that matter a short distance away in DC

xcooper23x's picture


my dad works with the forest service on Kirtland air force base in Albuquerque, New Mexico and they tag and track around 20 mountain lions which are about 3 times bigger than the one in the picture. They travel on average 30 miles per day and can have a roaming area of 200 miles. they just follow the deer so i can definitely see one traveling that far.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Nice job Ca-Vermonster. 

Nice job Ca-Vermonster.  Crazy to think that the cat traveled that far...what was it looking for?  I would think if it traveled that far it has to have some of its litle kittens along the way somewhere.  I would venture to think that is pretty good odds that there are some cats in CT know.  I would think the state will deny it just as Colorado denies that we have wolves.  Try to keep the public at ease I guess.

groovy mike's picture

I wonder....

I wonder if this cat actually walked that far or might have hitched a ride somewhere.  caught a nap in an open cargo container and woke up a few states away maybe?

There's just no telling when wild animals are involved, but it is still pretty neat to see a confirmed big cat on the east coast.  There are reported sightings regularly and some from very reliable people but like this article says the wildlife officials STILL refuse top believe that the cats exist in eastern states. 

This proves that at least ONE sighted cat was real and probably in MULTIPLE states too!

Thanks for sharing the story and the photograph.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Funny, I had never noticed

Funny, I had never noticed before that you put our names at the bottom if we had posted it somewhere else.. lol

No matter how many times I see that story, I can't help but think what would make a mountain lion walk all the way from South Dakota to Connecticut. 

If it's food he wanted, I am sure he passed plenty of farms along the way.  If it was companionship he wanted, he went the wrong direction.  There are plenty of cats to the west.

I have been seriously wondering if it's possible that this mountain lion was somehow snatched from it's mother when it was a baby in South Dakota, and maybe sold illegally to someone on the East coast.  They, in turn, released it when it got too much to handle.

Doubt we'll ever know.

If we see it in the forums

If we see it in the forums first, we like to give credit to the person(s) that found it. smile We try to stay on top of the news, but sometimes you guys beat us to the punch!