- Associated Press - Thursday, June 29, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan wildlife officials have confirmed the presence of a cougar in the Lansing area - the first to be verified in the Lower Peninsula.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Thursday the animal - also referred to as a mountain lion - was spotted by a resident on June 21 as it tried to cross a road. It was seen in Bath Township near the DNR’s Rose Lake State Wildlife Area.

DNR officials say they don’t know where the animal came from. It could have migrated from states farther west, as was the case in recent years with cougars in the Upper Peninsula that had been genetically tested.

Three dozen cougar sightings have been documented in the Upper Peninsula since 2008. Officials haven’t confirmed a breeding population in Michigan.

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