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DNR confirms cougar sighting near Janesville

The state Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that a large cat spotted near Janesville last month was indeed a cougar.

DNA tests confirmed the animal's presence. But we're still not sure if it was a wild cougar or a captive mountain lion.

It could be the first wild cougar to be seen in Wisconsin for about a century.

A hunter and trapper in the Rock County town of Milton saw the cat leaping from a hayloft Jan. 18.

Two DNR employees tracked the animal's footprints in the snow. That's where they found the blood which they submitted for the DNA tests.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Forest Service lab is doing additional tests to confirm the cougar's gender and subspecies.

If it's from South America, it would be proof that a captive animal had escaped.

The DNR is not aware of any escaped cougars in Wisconsin or northern Illinois.