'Very rare' cougar sighting in Minneapolis neighborhood

Home security cameras captured footage of a cougar prowling through the Lowry Hill neighborhood early Monday morning.

The big cat can be seen hopping a fence and walking across a shared driveway, before making his way into another yard around 3:30 a.m. Monday.

READ MORE: Cougar sighted again in Minneapolis, may be using Cedar Lake trail system, city says

"All of a sudden he was like, ‘Oh my god check it out,’" said Kristi, recalling her husband’s reaction when he watched the clip. "There it was clear as day – this big cat."

It appears the cougar stayed in the area late Monday night as fresh tracks could be seen in the overnight snow on the same block as the original sighting. 

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Cougar tracks seen in the Lowry Hill neighborhood. 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says while big cat sightings in the city are extremely rare, transient cougars are known to occasionally travel through the state.

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.

"It's been the neighborhood buzz," said Kristi. 

Wildlife experts say if you encounter a cougar, do not shoot it as they are protected by Minnesota law. Instead, they suggest making yourself large and loud to scare the cat away.