Connecticut Mountain Lion Update

The mysterious Greenwich, Connecticut mountain lion that was seen wondering the the hoity toity streets of the upscale community was struck by a car along the highway. Poor bastard, a sad end to this noble beast:

The mountain lion killed by a car on the Wilbur Cross Parkway early Saturday morning was most likely the same big cat spotted recently in Greenwich, a state Department of Environmental Protection said.

“We don’t see a lot of those around here,” DEP spokesman Dennis Schain said.

The mountain lion was hit at about 1 a.m. north of exit 55, about 40 miles east of Greenwich, police said. State police said a car driven by Sigred Lacson, 40, of Newington, was northbound north on the parkway in the left lane when it hit the mountain lion.

The animal was found dead at the scene, state police said. The driver was uninjured.

DEP later confirmed that the animal was a 140-pound male mountain lion. It was taken to a DEP facility for further examination.

It is likely that it is the mountain lion seen in Greenwich on June 5, according to DEP spokeswoman Cyndy Chanaca.

On Wednesday, after the sighting in Greenwich, the DEP issued a press release saying: “Based on photographs taken of the animal and other evidence, it appears that the animal is a mountain lion that has been held in captivity and was released or escaped.”

Despite a number of reported sightings over the years, the DEP says that there are no native mountain lions in Connecticut, and the eastern mountain lion was declared extinct in March by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

As someone whose wandered the Connecticut woods I’m not so sure mountain lions aren’t in some remote parts. I’ve seen beavers in apartment complexes, mink in the parks, and one time a trophy buck running through the playground of the urban school I worked in. There’s enough game to support a lion or two, and less hunters every year to invade their territory.

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