Cougar spotted in Stillwater, after Champlin, Vadnais Heights

There's a cougar making its way around the northern and eastern St. Paul suburbs. At least that what a DNR expert says he thinks after one of the big cats was spotted in Stillwater on Friday.

"It would be an awful coincidence if there were more than one cougar wandering around the metro," Dan Stark told the Stillwater Gazette.

Stillwater police said they found cougar tracks in different places around town on Friday after taking two separate calls from residents. A cougar was also spotted on Highway 61 and I-694 on Monday evening.

A six-feet-long cougar was spotted crossing Highway 169 in Champlin on Dec. 5 by two cops coming off the night shift. A dashboard camera in the officers' car captured the cougar as it appeared in their headlights before wandering down into the woods along the Mississippi River.

Then, on Dec. 7, a homeowner in Vadnais Heights, near the Interstate 35E/694 junction, reported seeing a cougar in the neighborhood. The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office altered residents there to keep an eye out for the feline by way of a cell phone text alert system. No deputies saw the animal themselves.

"I think they are all the same cat," Stark told the Gazette.

Cougars are protected species in Minnesota, and it's rare to see one. They typically measure 6- to 9-feet long, from tail tip to head, and weigh in at around 100 to 200 pounds. DNR says there are no recorded cases of cougars attacking humans in Minnesota.

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