Cougar spotted in northern Twin Cities suburbsby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A cougar seems to be making its way across the northern Twin Cities suburbs toward the wilder parts of the St. Croix River.
Champlin police caught a cougar on squad car video and later sightings came from Vadnais Heights and Stillwater.
DNR wolf expert Dan Stark said the animal is traveling at night and could survive on deer if it avoids cars and other human dangers. Stark advises to remain calm if you encounter the cougar.
"Just make yourself look big, remain calm, don't run, just maintain eye contact and observe the animal until it leaves," he said.
And don't leave pets unattended outside.
Stark said cougars are a protected species in Minnesota; they lived in the state historically, though in small numbers.
"We certainly have enough deer to probably support a cougar population," he said. "There might be some other factors such as road density that might limit a population getting established, if they're getting hit by cars as they migrate across from west to east."
Stark said there have been more sightings in the last couple of years than in the previous decade.