A mountain lion walked 1,800 miles across the US – in what is believed to be the longest-ever recorded journey of a land mammal – before being killed by an SUV on a road in Connecticut.
When tests were run on the dead mountain lion, its DNA marked it as native to the Black Hills of South Dakota, 1,800 miles (2,896km) from Connecticut.
The cat’s journey is thought to be the longest ever taken in the US.
Data showed that the mountain lion walked from Dakota’s Black Hills, through Minnesota and Wisconsin and across the Midwest — probably through southern Ontario, Canada — ending up in Connecticut, where it was killed on the road in Milford.
It was the first mountain lion to be seen in that state for more than a century.
“This is an incredible journey, nearly double that of any mountain lion [ever recorded],” a Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesperson said.
“The journey of this mountain lion is a testament to the wonders of nature and the tenacity and adaptability of this species."
The death of the lion marks the end of a saga that began with sightings in December 2009.
The mountain lion was last seen at a school in Greenwich, Connecticut on June 5. It was struck by a SUV and killed on June 11.
The mountain lion is a type of big cat native to the Americas. It is also known as a cougar or a puma.
The mountain lion killed after the epic cross-US journey was a young, 140lb (64kg) male.
Get more info about mountin lions here: mountainlion.org