One of my favorite parkway bridges down in Stamford
A mountain lion killed on a Connecticut highway in June was a wild animal from South Dakota that prowled more than 1,500 miles eastward before meeting his death 70 miles from New York City, genetic tests confirmed this week.
The big cat with a long tail and an even longer tale was determined to have travelled through Minnesota and Wisconsin in late 2009 and 2010 before arriving in the posh suburb of Greenwich, Connecticut, according to DNA testing of the animal and his scat.
The cougar was struck and killed on a commuter roadway, the Wilbur Cross Parkway, on June 11.
“I think it’s staggering that he was able to go 1,500 miles but also travel through those areas without being detected or killed,” said Mark Dowling, a director at the Cougar Network.
“Moving through the Midwest and Northeast, it’s a gauntlet of potential detection — roads, highways, rivers and dogs to get through,” he said.
The cross-country trek is one of the longest movements on record for a land mammal and nearly doubles any known distance traveled by a mountain lion, according to Connecticut environmental officials. It’s also the first recorded confirmation of a wild mountain lion in Connecticut in more than 100 years, officials said…
But DNA tests on the 140-pound animal, believed to be two to five years old, matched the genetic structure of the mountain lion population in the Black Hills region of South Dakota, officials said.
Other signs that he was a wild animal included the fact he was not declawed, neutered or implanted with a microchip but did have porcupine quills embedded in his tissues.
I know the area well where his life was ended. My family lived for years right next to the parkway, just over from Milford – it’s called the Merritt Parkway or the Wilbur Cross Parkway depending on whether you’re east or west of the Housatonic River.. It was one of the first limited access, dual lane highways with a median – built starting back in 1934.
Yup. Part of a stimulus plan that focused on infrastructure. Each overpass or underpass is different, but all designed by the same architect.
Not that any of that impressed Mr. Mountain Lion. Our loss.