Department of Natural Resources
1. What should I do if I encounter a cougar?
The odds of encountering a cougar in the wild are very small and attacks are extremely rare. Should you encounter a cougar:
2. Can I kill a cougar or other large cat to protect myself, my children or other people?
Cougars or large exotic cats that are a direct and immediate threat to human life may be killed. If an animal is killed, the incident must be reported to the DNR. The DNR will respond to reports of cougars/large cats in residential or urban areas, if physical evidence is available. If animals are judged to be a threat to human life and safety, conservation officers or other qualified DNR employees may remove or euthanize the animal.
3. How can I discourage cougars around my home or farm?
4. What if I suspect a cougar has killed my livestock?
Wild cougars may not be killed by the public in defense of pets or livestock without a permit from the DNR. However, under the Large Carnivore Act, large cats (including exotics and cougars) that are escaped pets may be destroyed in defense of property, as well as life. An animal acting tame or unafraid of people is likely to be a pet.
The DNR will investigate complaints of livestock depredation by cougars. It is critical these be reported immediately. All physical evidence will be collected by the DNR. Please do not remove evidence.