Well, it finally happened….a free-ranging North American genotype cougar originating from an unknown combination of released, escaped, native, or dispersed animal, has been shot and killed by Ontario.
This is the description of ‘cougar’ taken from a recent edition of the Canadian Field Naturalist journal – referring to evidence found throughout the province regarding the existence of cougars in Ontario – and not the actual description of the cougar killed on the weekend.
So, what was this animal killed then?
A bona fide cougar has been found and put down in Ontario, following reports of a family dog being attacked by a very large cat – the cougar was tracked down and killed near the Muskoka town of Utterson(Not far from Bracebridge in Central ON)
This cougar is hard evidence of the animal’s existence and the first to surface in the province since 1884, which is hard to fathom given the number of cougar sightings in central and eastern Ontario over the last 20 years.
But was this animal an actual eastern cougar once believed to be extinct, or at least extirpated, in this part of the country? The jury is still out on that one.
Anyone else notice the irony in the fact that we had been discussing cougars heavily on the Outdoors Guy Blog, in the two weeks leading up to this event in Muskoka? It’s almost like we had some sort of premonition… spooky!!
Map of Ontario Cougar sightings (Courtesy of the Ontario Puma Foundation)