The first cougar known to be killed in Ontario since 1884 is almost certainly a released animal. The incident occurred on the evening of July 7, 2012 when OPP responded to a cougar attack in Utterson, Ont. a small town near Bracebridge in the Muskoka area.
When officers arrived, they shot the cougar that had fatally mauled a resident’s dog, a medium-sized German Sheppard mix.
The incident caused some mainstream media to speculate that a wild cougar had been killed. But, an MNR preliminary post-mortem determined the cat, while indeed a mature cougar in good health, had been declawed.
When asked about the possibility of the cat being an escapee from a game farm or a released pet, MNR Senior Media Relations Officer Jolanta Kowalski said, “The incident investigation is now being conducted by the enforcement branch of the MNR.”
The area where the cat was seen and ultimately shot is near a well known exotic big-cat zoo.