Dec 16, 2004
DNR: Cougar not to blame for dead deer

DNR: Cougar not to blame for dead deer

Residents in White Lake and Commerce townships don’t have to worry about cougars roaming the area, authorities said.

After two recent incidents – deer carcasses found 5 and 10 feet high in trees in both townships – concerns arose about whether a cougar was responsible for the dead animals.

The remains of a deer discovered in the wooded area near Oakley Park and Commerce roads in Commerce showed no evidence linking the death to a cougar, police and Michigan Department of Natural Resources said.

A similar case reported in White Lake just weeks after- where a man found a deer carcass in a tree near Sharon Drive off Elizabeth Lake Road with claw marks on it – also proved to be the work of someone or something other than a cougar.

“Our biologist (Julie Oaker) went out and took a look at it, and she is reporting that it is nothing more than a poached fawn that somebody tossed up there,” said Ray Rustem, a biologist with the Wildlife Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

“The tracks that were seen on sight were dog tracks and the feces were also identified as canine. Nothing more came out of that. It definitely wasn’t a cougar.”

This came after several reports of large cat-like animals reportedly seen in Rochester Hills recently.

Other sightings of what could be cougars have been reported this past year in White Lake, Highland and Orion townships.
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