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Cougar captured on trail cams in Douglas County

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources biologists have confirmed this trail camera photo of a cougar, taken near Foxboro on Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR)

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Trail cameras captured four photos of a cougar in Douglas County last month, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reported Tuesday.

“Two of the photos were captured on the same day (Nov. 11) on two properties roughly 2.5 miles apart in the Foxboro area,” the DNR reported. “Three days later, an additional two photos were captured on separate properties in the Bennett area, roughly 4.5 miles apart.”

They're the first confirmed cougar sightings in Northwestern Wisconsin since one was spotted in Bayfield County in 2015, and the first confirmed sightings in Douglas County since 2011, according to the DNR.

A cougar was captured on several trail cameras in central Wisconsin between August and October, but the DNR said it’s not known if that’s the same animal as the one seen in Douglas County.

Cougars also have been sighted in Minnesota in recent years.

The DNR said there is currently no evidence that cougars, also known as mountain lions, are breeding in Wisconsin.

“Biologists believe the cougars known to have entered Wisconsin are male cougars dispersing from a breeding population in the western United States,” the agency said.

Cougars are a protected species in Wisconsin and cannot be shot unless attacking a human or a domestic animal, the DNR reported. There have been no confirmed conflicts between cougars and humans or domestic animals in Wisconsin.