DEP says dead mountain lion is not proof

News reports of a mountain lion struck and killed early Saturday morning by a motorist on the Wilbur Cross Parkway (Route 15) in Milford are sparking renewed talk here of a controversial subject. Many area residents claim they have seen the elusive cats, which are distinguished by their size and their long tails. The one killed last weekend weighed 140 pounds.The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has long denied the cats live here or that the agency has ever released any here. In March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deemed the eastern mountain lion extinct.One conservation officer asked The Journal why, if the cats are here, they are never hit in the road. While the absence of dead animals in the road might not be conclusive proof that the cats live here, the dead animal found on the road June 11 is also not conclusive proof.The DEP is proceeding with an investigation of the incident and assuming for now that it was a captive animal that was released or that escaped captivity. It is illegal to keep mountain lions as pets in Connecticut.

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Provided by Larissa Vreeland

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