MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A cougar wandering around in Minneapolis has been sighted for a second time in two days and may be using a popular trail system, the City of Minneapolis says.
According to a city official, the cougar was recently spotted near Kenwood Park. Officials say there is now concern that the large cat might be using the Cedar Lake trail system near the Lake of the Isles. Neighbors found tracks in the snow, a full day after the cougar was first spotted on home security footage. The DNR says it’s evidence that the cat remains in the area.
In a message on Tuesday afternoon, the city urged residents who see the cougar to call 311 or the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at (651) 296-6157.
Monday, FOX 9 spoke to a woman who captured video of the cougar on her security camera in the Lowry Hill neighborhood early Monday morning. The wild animal was captured on video walking in front of her garage.
Since 2004, there has been only one other instance of a cougar captured on camera in Hennepin County. Statewide, there were six recorded cougar observations last year – which could be paw prints, scat, roadkill, or photos – with it likely that some if not all of those were the same cat.
The DNR says it has collected no evidence to suggest there is a breeding population in Minnesota, rather the cats are passing through – most likely originating in the Dakotas.
The City of Minneapolis also offered the following tips if confronted by a wild animal:
- Don’t run! Running will provoke the predatory chasing behavior of cougars, as it would with other predators such as bears, coyotes, and wolves.
- Pick up small children or pets that are with you.
- Directly face the cougar, but look at the cougar’s feet, not directly into their eyes, to avoid appearing aggressive.
- If the cougar displays aggressive behavior try to appear larger – raise your arms or open your jacket over your head.
- Make noise by yelling, blowing a whistle or an air horn.
- If you have an umbrella, quickly open, and close it while facing the cougar.
- Do not approach the cougar. Give it ample space to run away – don’t corner it.
- If there are cubs, be careful not to get between them and their mother.