Rosendale cougar sighting confirmed by DNR

A cougar is shown on a trail cam On Jan. 5 near Rosendale in Fond du Lac County

MADISON - The Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that a trail camera photo captured in early January near Rosendale in Fond du Lac County shows a cougar prowling through the area.

In addition, a cougar was also spotted moving through Lincoln and Langlade counties in mid-December, the DNR says.

The earlier photos were taken on property northeast of Merrill on the same day with two separate trail cameras. Eight days later, two separate photos captured images of a cougar on a property south of Antigo.

The cougar photo near Rosendale was taken on Jan. 5. 

The properties near Antigo and Merrill are roughly 23 miles apart, which means it's possible this could be the same cougar, moving in an easterly direction, says Jane Wiedenhoeft, assistant large carnivore specialist, in a press release posted on the DNR's website.

A cougar was captured on a trail cam on Dec. 18 near Antigo.

It is unknown if this is the same cougar photographed on multiple trail cameras in central Wisconsin between early August and late October 2017, or if it is the cougar reported in Douglas County in mid-November, the DNR reports.

Cougars can travel long distances in a short time period. Without biological material for genetic testing, department staff say they are unable to confirm whether this is one or multiple cougars.

There is currently no evidence that cougars are breeding in Wisconsin. Biologists believe the cougars spotted in the state are male cougars dispersing from a breeding population in the western United States.

A trail cam near Merrill on Dec. 10 shows a cougar walking down a path.

Cougars are a protected species in Wisconsin and hunting is not allowed. They are not considered a threat to public safety.

In the unlikely event that a person is confronted by a cougar, the DNR says the person should face the animal and spread arms and open coats or jackets to appear larger. If a cougar approaches, make noise and throw rocks or sticks.

Suspected cougar sightings can be reported by searching the DNR website,, for large mammal observation form.