Col. Bill Bernhjelm, DNR Enforcement Division director, said
that “under the circumstances, the officers acted appropriately.
The cougar showed no fear of them and it refused to leave the area.
That is very unusual behavior for a wild cougar and a cause for
concern, especially since the cougar was in an area near people’s
homes and a public hiking trail. From a public safety perspective,
they acted responsibly.”
A necropsy report conducted by the University of Minnesota
Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and the DNR determined that the cougar
was a mature female that appeared to have been in good physical
condition. Its stomach was empty at the time it was killed,
according to DNR Pathologist Joe Marcino.
“It’s not possible to say if it had been in captivity at some
time and either escaped or was let loose, or the much less likely
possibility that it was a wild cougar that wandered into the
state,” Marcino said. “We were not able to find any evidence that
it had been a captive animal, such as tags, tattoos or other
markings. And it had not been declawed or spayed.”