Lion Traveled 1,800 Miles to Connecticut

The mystery of the Greenwich mountain lion could be solved today.

The mountain lion killed on Route 15 in Milford last month traveled about 1,800 miles to get here.

It came from Black Hills of South Dakota and traveled through Minnesota and Wisconsin before eventually ending up in southern Connecticut. This is the longest journey recorded for a land mammal and nearly double the distance ever recorded for a mountain lion, according to state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.

The animal's nickname, the St. Croix Cougar -- a mountain lion and a cougar are the same thing -- a state wildlife official said. Its journey was tracked on a Web site.

State officials said tests show that this is the same lion that was spotted in the King Street area of Greenwich just days before the crash that killed it, It was the first mountain lion recorded in Connecticut in more than 100 years.

Officials from the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection said they believe that there is only one mountain lion and that there is no native mountain lion population.

They previously said they thought it was raised in captivity and escaped or was let free because they are not native to this area. There is no evidence of that now, they said. 

A private California laboratory studied scat from the King Street area in Greenwich and told Greenwich Police that it was from a mountain lion.

Officials called these results "very surprising."

Now, the mystery is how the animal made its journey here.

Contact Us