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Cougar spotted in western U.P.

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Michigan Department of Natural Resources
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A cougar was spotted in Gogebic County last month by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, making it the 39th cougar sighting in Michigan by the DNR since 2008.

Nearly all of those spottings have been in the Upper Peninsula.

The DNR says it's unlikely that there's a significant breeding population of cougars, otherwise known as moutain lions, in the U.P.

They say the animals likely emigrated to Michigan from South Dakota, Wyoming and northwest Nebraska.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, cougars have been eliminated from two-thirds of their historic habitats. Cougars are listed as an endangered species in Michigan and protected under state law.