Potential Mountain Lions Now in Police Crosshairs

Police Chief Says DEP Advises That Animals, if They Can't be Contained, Should be Euthanized

Potential mountain lions in Fairfield no longer have police protection.

Police Chief Gary MacNamara said Tuesday that the state Department of Environmental Protection told area police departments that the animals, if they can't be contained, should be "euthanized."

"On the recommendation of the DEP, if we can't contain the animal, the animal by its mere presence will have to be euthanized," MacNamara said. "They're not common in the area, they're not native to the area, and if they're seen and can't be contained, they do pose a threat and should be euthanized."

"That was the message conveyed by the DEP to all our departments," MacNamara added, referring to a teleconference with the DEP and area first selectmen and law enforcement officers Monday afternoon.

The DEP recommendation is a reversal of the Fairfield Police Department's position last week in which a police spokesman said officers don't kill healthy wildlife and that potential mountain lions in town would only be killed if they posed an imminent threat or harm to a citizen.

Police on Tuesday said the last reported sighting of a potential mountain lion was still the Friday morning sighting by Town Fiscal Officer Paul Hiller, who said he is convinced he saw a mountain lion by Verna Hill Road and Mine Hill Road in Greenfield Hill about 8 a.m. An earlier sighting was reported June 14 by an Easton motorist, who said she saw a mountain lion at the corner of Redding Road and Old Academy Road, also in Greenfield Hill, in the late afternoon.

MacNamara said the DEP is investigating whether a confirmed mountain lion killed in Milford after it was struck by an SUV about 10 days ago had any signs it had been someone's pet. "Basically, the DEP is following up on the analysis of the dead mountain lion to try to determine if there are any signs it was at one point in captivity and are also trying to determine if that mountain lion was the mountain lion seen earlier in Greenwich," he said.

"All of the sightings we've seen [in Fairfield] are just that - sightings. There have been several credible sightings, however no confirmation," MacNamara said.

The DEP's position on Friday was that mountain lions are extinct in Connecticut and that the confirmed mountain lion killed in Milford had been someone's pet and had either escaped or been released.

Residents who see a potential mountain lion should call the Police Department's non-emergency number at 203-254-4800 so officers can be dispatched to the area and the DEP can be notified, MacNamara said. He said residents also should take precautions that were outlined by police after the sighting by Hiller.

MacNamara said a resident who sees a mountain lion and can safely photograph the animal should do so to provide evidence to law enforcement and the DEP about what the animal is.

kma June 21, 2011 at 04:12 PM
They are so beautiful. And I hate to see that picture of the one that got killed over a week ago always being shown. They don't have to be killed - I am sure there are plenty of park wardens all over this ocuntry who would love to have them.
momof3 June 21, 2011 at 10:52 PM
Is anyone specifically looking for this mountain lion? There is open space on the corner of Old Academy and Mine Hill (believe it is the Audubon's), it is right between where the two sightings were. Has anyone looked in there?
Craig June 21, 2011 at 11:25 PM
Leave the damn cat alone people. Ever wonder why there aren't many left anymore? It's because of antiquated policies like this one at the DEP. You are living in an age of extinction, wanna help it come to fruition? Shoot the poor animal. Get educated about mountain lions here... www.felidaefund.org
Michael Champagne June 22, 2011 at 03:15 AM
It's really not "euthanizing" to kill a healthy, wild animal.
Fairfield Resident June 22, 2011 at 04:20 AM
Exactly.............It's Murder! Shame on the CT DEP for even suggesting it!
momof3 June 22, 2011 at 10:43 AM
I wasn't suggesting killing it; however, having a mountain lion roaming around a residential area is not ideal. Would be great if we could find it, tranquilize it and move it, before it does present a danger...can't help but think of kids waiting alone for a bus in the early morning hours and coming face to face with a mountain lion.
Michael Champagne June 22, 2011 at 12:17 PM
I don't necessarily have a problem with the cat being killed, but let's not try to soft-sell it by calling it "euthanizing it".Euthanasia is used to end the life of a terminally sick or injured animal, not a healthy nuisance..
John Cougar June 22, 2011 at 03:34 PM
The residents of Fairfield should be calling the DEP and Fairfield police insisting on a no kill solution for this beautiful animal.
Tax Payer June 22, 2011 at 04:11 PM
Kill the beautiful animal before it kills a kid!!!!! Whats wrong with you people?????
Fairfield Resident June 22, 2011 at 11:50 PM
I guess you would be happy if they killed the hundreds of Coyotes in our County as well!! MURDERER!
TaxPayer June 23, 2011 at 05:19 PM
Yes, I would, Kill the mountain lion, kill the coyotes and especially kill all the deer!!!
fiorella July 01, 2011 at 01:21 AM
Our kids are much much much more beautiful than mountain lions. If I was a mountain lion mom, I would protect my cubs. I am a human, naturally I will protect my kids. No one ever worried about coyotes, bobcats, etc. This is a different issue. Connecticut is crowded but covered with shrubs and trees. A mountain lion can crawl all the way up to its prey without being noticed. I beg DEP, police, and state to act very responsibly regarding this public safety issue.
Thea randis November 15, 2012 at 06:10 AM
I have a beautiful three year old who I have had to keep inside foe three days now. There is a mountain lion wandering through my yard and the woods behind it. It took down a deer the other day. Can the people who don't want it killed please come throw yourself down as food before it kills my baby? I'm terrified and if I have to shoot it, I will. A mother bear can protect her young but I'm a murderer for protecting mine I guess.
John Cougar November 15, 2012 at 10:28 AM
Have you notified the DEEP or Police of the sighting?
Fairfield Old Timer November 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM
You are just another over-protective "helicopter parent"!! Move if you don't like it. The mountain lions were there first!!!! Leave the mountain lions alone!
Fairfield Old Timer November 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Probaly not because she is lying! It was probably just a coyote that she saw.
Michael Champagne November 15, 2012 at 01:03 PM
@ Fairfield Old Timer: Are you unclear on what the term "helicopter parent" means or are you trying to be controversial? It doesn't seem inordinately cautious to me for a parent to worry about his/her child's life given the threat of a mountain lion.
mark November 15, 2012 at 09:09 PM
thea randis do you live by black rock turnpike
Fairfield Old Timer November 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM
I know one thing......She's Hot!! https://mobile.twitter.com/Eve_n3?p=i


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