New York State Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed this week that the mountain lion killed in Milford, Conn., in June 2011 was seen in Lake George, N.Y., in December 2010.
A resident of the town alerted NYSDEC after seeing it in her backyard on December 16. The following day, the state collected hair samples and took photographs of the tracks. DNA analysis confirmed that the hairs were from the same mountain lion killed in Connecticut and tracked through Minnesota and Wisconsin in late 2009 and early 2010.
A trail camera photographed a young cougar in Oconto County, Wisconsin, in May 2010, and another camera later captured the image of a cougar in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The identity of these is not certain.
The last confirmed mountain lion sighting in New York was a 7.5-pound kitten shot in Saratoga County on Dec. 31, 1993. Characteristics of the kitten, including lesions on the footpads suggestive of captivity on a rough concrete surface and genetics from South American subspecies, suggest it was likely an escaped or released captive cougar.