When a mountain lion turned up on the side of the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Milford last summer, Bo Ottmann was ready.
"We were waiting for a roadkill, and we got one," he said.
He's logging signatures on his website, ctmountainlion.org, to petition the public safety committee of the state Legislature for a public hearing.
"We need to start educational programs for the kids and for the public, safety concerns," Ottmann said. "I think that's a big issue. I think that's the direction we need to go."
Ottmann saw a mountain lion once in Pennsylvania, but not in Connecticut.
He's been recording sightings and speaking to different groups, but he knows he needs proof to show experts there are mountain lions in Connecticut, so he's offering $100 for a photograph of a mountain lion in Connecticut.
State government experts said the animal killed in Milford had been seen in Greenwich not long before, and it had been sighted in Minnesota and Wisconsin the year before. Other mountain lions in Connecticut might have been exotic pets that escaped from captivity. In any case, the Eastern Mountain Lion is extinct.
Ottmann said the exact species doesn't matter to him. He just wants the public to know to be careful with mountain lions before someone gets hurt.