A mountain lion that was killed after it collided with an SUV Saturday morning in Milford, Conn., only 70 miles from New York City, is believed to have been an escaped pet.
The 140-pound male cat was also believed to be the mountain lion that was reported seen near Greenwich, Conn. a week ago. Wildlife officials were conducting tests to confirm that.
In a news conference Monday, officials from the state Department of
Environmental Protection said they think the mountain lion
was a pet despite the animal not showing some of the telltale signs of being a captive animal:
“We do continue to state there is no native population of mountain
lions in Connecticut, we do believe this is a pet that has escaped,”
said DEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette in a press conference
But Paul Rego, a wildlife biologist with the DEP, said the body of
the struck animal does not show any glaring signs of being a pet.
Rego said animal was not neutered or declawed. Rego said mountain
lions held in captivity also often to be “out of shape” or flabby and
over-fed. But the animal killed in Milford was none of these things and
was lean, he said.
But with the nearest native populations in Florida and North and
South Dakota, Rego said the most logical explanation continues to be
that the animal escaped from captivity.