Mountain lion wanders through Juneau County - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Mountain lion wanders through Juneau County

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CUTLER (WKOW) -- State officials say a mountain lion wandered through Juneau County last month, and may be the same animal spotted in several other Wisconsin counties to the north.

"It was definitely a cougar,"  says Department of Natural Resources biologist Jane Wiedenhoeft.  Mountain lions are also known as cougars.

Wiedenhoeft says a trail camera photo of the animal was captured on property in the small community of Cutler.

"It doesn't shock me, they've been around this area because I know they've been north of here," says Cutler Town Chairman Marvin Potter.

Wiedenhoeft says the mountain lion was photographed on Sept. 26.  She says it appears to be the same animal that was in Marathon, Clark and Wood Counties in the weeks before. 

Wiedenhoeft says the mountain lion may be from established habitat in South Dakota.  "Young males, once they leave their mother, they have to go out and find a territory, and the older males don't want them to be around them, and some of those young males end up traveling quite a distance."

Potter owns a cranberry company and has cranberry bogs over dozens of acres in Juneau County.  He says he doubts the mountain lion would disturb the bogs, which are protected by eight foot high deer fences.

DNR wildlife experts say it is unusual for a traveling mountain lion to linger as long as it apparently has in Wisconsin.  Wiedenhoeft says if this is a young male, it is also probably in search of a mate.

"For the most part, they're more afraid of us, than we are of them,"  Potter says.  "Usually."

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