Michigan DNR Confirms First Lower Peninsula Cougar Sighting

The Michigan DNR has confirmed the presence of a cougar for the first time in a century in the Lower Peninsula.

The cougar, also referred to as a mountain lion, was spotted in Clinton County’s Bath Township on June 21.

A Haslett resident snapped a photo of the cougar and sent it to the DNR.

The DNR investigated the sighting, visited the area the cougar was spotted and reviewed the photo. The DNR says they have determined that the animal in the photo was a cougar.

However, the agency’s not sure where the animal came from.

Originally, cougars were native to Michigan, but were extirpated around the turn of the century.

Up until now, all confirmed cougar sightings have been in the Upper Peninsula.

According to the DNR, 36 cougar sighting have been documented in the Upper Peninsula since 2008.

The DNR is encouraging the public to submit pictures of possible cougar sightings to them for verification. You can submit your photos here.  

While it’s unlikely you’ll encounter a cougar in the wild, the DNR has some tips just in case you find yourself face-to-face with one.

– Face the animal, stand tall, wave your arms and speak in a loud voice. Do not act submissive.

– Never run from a cougar.

– Don’t crouch down or get on all fours.

– If the cougar attacks you, fight back with whatever is available. Do not play dead. 

To learn more about cougars, click here