News releases issued by the Eden Prairie Police Department, including incident briefs and crime alerts, are distributed with the intent to inform and educate the community and encourage public safety.
Public Information Officers
Possible Cougar Sighting in Eden Prairie
Last week, the Eden Prairie Police Department released information about a possible cougar sighting near the west side of Staring Lake.
Today, another Eden Prairie resident called police to report a possible sighting near Purgatory Creek, south of Cold Stream Lane and Sunnybrook Road, where a trail camera captured an image of the animal Monday, Aug. 26 at 2:24 p.m.
Eden Prairie Police have submitted the photo to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and are working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to accurately identify the animal pictured and gather additional information.
According to the DNR, human encounters with cougars are extremely rare and most cougars will avoid confrontation; however if an encounter should occur:
- Face the cougar directly, raise your arms to make yourself appear larger and speak loudly and firmly. This behavior is in direct conflict with a cougar's tendency to hunt by stalking and attacking from ambush. Do not run, crouch or lay on the ground.
- Do not shoot the animal, even if livestock or pets are threatened. Cougars are a protected species and may only be killed by a licensed peace officer or authorized permit holder.
- Report the encounter or sighting to a conservation officer or local law enforcement authorities as soon as possible so evidence such as photographs, tracks, hair and scat can be located, identified, confirmed and documented.
For more information on cougars in Minnesota, visit dnr.state.mn.us/mammals/cougar.