Environmental officials say a cougar killed by a car in Connecticut tramped through upstate New York last year, a rare sighting in a state where the big cats are believed to have been gone for more than a century.
Cindy Eggleston reported seeing the cat in her Lake George backyard in December. Her husband David, a former Department of Environmental Conservation colonel, and DEC officer Louis Gerrain took pictures of the tracks and gathered hairs.
When the cat was struck and killed in June, DNA analysis confirmed it was the same cougar.
Officials believe the healthy, 140-pound male started its journey in South Dakota and came about 2,000 miles.
Biologists believe there are about 100,000 cougars in North America, mostly in the west and rarely traveling more than 100 miles.