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KSTP TV – Minneapolis

Cougar Spotting in North Metro


A north metro neighborhood is on alert after a rare confirmed sighting of a cougar. A police dash camera in Champlin actually caught the big cat on tape early Saturday morning.

A DNR officer watched the video and confirmed to FIVE EYEWITNESS NEWS that the animal, is indeed, a cougar.

Police have stepped up patrols in the area, and want people who live nearby to be on the lookout. Those who live near the cougar sighting say it is an area with several children and pets and they are very alarmed.

“There’s a cougar loose in this area? Oh my gosh!” said one resident in the area.

“It is an issue for public safety when that type of animal is going through a neighborhood. It could cause a lot of problems,” said Champlin Police Sgt. Chris Larrabee.


Champlin Police Increase Patrols After Cougar Sighting

By: Becky Nahm & Colleen Mahoney

Champlin police increased patrols after a cougar was spotted in a neighborhood over the weekend.

The big cat hasn’t been seen again, but the Department of Natural Resources has received several calls about it.

Byran Lueth with the DNR said the agency regularly receives reports of cougar sightings, but usually the reports cannot be confirmed or it becomes clear that the animal was not a cougar.

But in this case, the DNR confirmed the animal seen on video recorded by a Champlin police squad car dash camera Saturday morning was a cougar.

Lueth said, “My initial expression was, ‘Wow! It’s a big cougar.'”

Experts estimate that the animal weighs at least 200 pounds. Because of that, the DNR thinks it might be someone’s pet.

Lueth said, “It’s girth frankly to me, it looks a little flabby. It’s not the lean-mean, deer-killing machine of a wild animal.”

But if the animal is domestic, that doesn’t mean it’s safe.

The DNR is warning people who live between Highway 169 and the river to be aware of their surroundings.

The DNR said if the animal is wild, it is likely no longer in the area.

Also see http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=829980&catid=14

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