Thursday, September 24, 2009

DNR Secretly Releasing Mountain Lions

Bemidji Pioneer [MN]
24 September 2009

Mountain lion backlash

By: Molly Miron, Bemidji Pioneer

[...] The other rumor going around is that the DNR has imported and released mountain lions to cut down the whitetail deer overpopulation. I have asked more than one DNR officials about the claim. They told me the DNR has released grouse or prairie chickens in western Minnesota and, many years ago, reintroduced fishers in Itasca State Park to control porcupines. No mountain lions. One specialist said a radio-collared mountain lion was spotted in this area some time ago, but the animal had been collared in the Black Hills of South Dakota and had wandered here from out West.

I talked to someone today who said a DNR official had told him/her 15 mountain lions had been released near here, but that the DNR doesn't want people to know. I asked for a written affidavit from this official who reported the releases before I would consider the claim. The response was that officials don't want to put it in writing, but the caller would see about getting written testimony. [...]