According to DNA tests conducted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the mountain lion killed in Milford in June made its way to the state from the Black Hills region of South Dakota and is an animal whose movements were actually tracked and recorded as it made its way through Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Genetic tests also show that it is likely that the mountain lion killed when it was hit by a car June 11 on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Milford was the same one that had been seen earlier that month in Greenwich.
DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said, “The journey of this mountain lion is a testament to the wonders of nature and the tenacity and adaptability of this species. This mountain lion traveled a distance of more than 1,500 miles from its original home in South Dakota, representing one of the longest movements ever recorded for a land mammal and nearly double the distance ever recorded for a dispersing mountain lion.”
“The confirmation of a wild mountain lion in our state was the first recorded in more than 100 years,” Commissioner Esty said. “This is the first evidence of a mountain lion making its way to Connecticut from western states and there is still no evidence indicating that there is a native population of mountain lions in Connecticut.”
Editor’s Note: Personnel from several agencies spent a great deal of time and effort in investigating the mysterious appearance of this mountain lion in Connecticut. These include the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service’s Wildlife Genetics laboratory, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources , and the New York State Museum in Albany.