Remember the debate over wild cougars in the North Country over the past few years?
Well, investigators have been checking for proof of wild cougars in Ontario too and one verdict is in: they’re here. (Make that “they’re back” in historic terms.)
As this Ottawa Citizen article reports,
OTTAWA — A four-year Ontario study confirms what many rural residents felt sure about: cougars are again living wild in Ontario.
Officially, the big cats were considered to have been wiped out by the early 1900s all across Eastern Canada.
But a major research effort has documented tracks, fur, photos, DNA, scat (droppings), and hundreds of sightings — some of them by trained biologists.
“The evidence from this study provides proof that cougars live in Ontario; however it does not indicate the origin of these animals,” the study concludes.
It doesn’t address Quebec directly, but notes that the cats are in Eastern Ontario and like to roam.
The study period was from 2006 to 2010.
Anyone who spent a night pub-crawling through the Byward Market could have told you they never left…