Local Ministry of Natural Resources offices continue to receive reports of possible cougar sightings in the region.
While many of the sightings and photographs have been dismissed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Norm Hissa from the Robertson Road office says there have been confirmed reports in the province.
“Cougars are listed as an endangered species in Ontario and there is evidence that indicates the presence of free ranging cougars of unknown origin in Ontario,” he said,
He confirms that some of this evidence points to possible cougars in northwestern Ontario. He says the regional office receives a handful of reports of cougar sightings in the region, but very few have been totally confirmed.
Hissa says once they receive a report, they conduct an investigation to look into the validity of the claim.
“We have scientists and they’ll look at the photographs to see if there’s any consistency or animal characteristics like marks, colouring, size, scale. Whenever possible, a site visit will be conducted by MNR staff to collect evidence such as hair, scat and they’ll look at things like tracks,” he said.
— Brenden Harris.
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