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DNR officials get training to deal with cougars

MADISON - Now that the cougar is making a comeback, Wisconsin wildlife experts are getting new lessons on how to deal with them.

The predator was wiped out in the Midwest in the early 1900's. But the state DNR has confirmed the presence of four cougars within the last two years. All were male, and one attacked a dairy cow in Juneau County in the first assault of its kind since the 1800's. Officials have created a working group that's getting information from experts. The group will also come up with procedures to respond to future sightings.

In addition, DNR biologists were given hands-on training with cougars in South Dakota. They learned how to fit the animals with radio tracking collars, and took part in exercises to immobilize cougars. The DNR said the state's new cougars most likely emigrated from the Black Hills in South Dakota, where about 250 mountain lions have settled. But officials have not found any females in Wisconsin - and there are no signs of breeding.

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