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Lurking 'Mountain Lion' Leads to Greenwich School Campus Clo

 
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:22 pm    Post subject: Lurking 'Mountain Lion' Leads to Greenwich School Campus Clo Reply with quote

Lurking 'Mountain Lion' Leads to Greenwich School Campus Closing
Officials aren't sure if the animal sighted near Westchester County Airport is a mountain lion — a species that has been extinct on the eastern seaboard for more than a century.

Credit Scott Snyder Add your photos & videos Tell Your Neighbors About Patch Brunswick School, in Greenwich, has limited access to its King Street campus to faculty and staff and closed its cross country trails, as environmental officials investigate three reports of what has been described as a mountain lion lurking on school grounds.

Since May 31, there have been three sightings of a large cat-like animal with a long tail at the King Street campus, which abuts the Westchester County Airport complex and Rye Lake Drive. A Greenwich Emergency Medical Service crew was among those to report seeing the large cat between May 31 and June 5, according to Greenwich Police.

Whether it was a mountain lion remains unclear as they have been extinct along the Eastern Seaboard for more than a century, according to Greenwich Conservation Director Denise Savageau. The only East Coast habitat for the wild felines is in Florida, according to Savageau. If the animal wasn’t a coyote or a bobcat, Savageau a mountain lion in Connecticut could only be the result of someone illegally owning it and letting it return to the wild or it escaped from captivity.

Greenwich Police said they have not received any reports of missing wild animals held by private farms and foundations in the the backcountry area.

Until there is a determination of what the animal is, school spokeswoman Bonni Brodnick said, “Brunswick has decided to take the following precautions which will take effect immediately - The King Street Campus will be closed except for faculty and staff. All scheduled camps and summer programs will proceed as planned. The Cross Country Trails are closed to all, and have been so posted.”

Classes at the campus that houses the Pre, Lower and Middle schools, ended June 7.

"On Monday morning, we met with the Greenwich Police Department and a representative of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection,” Brodnick said in an e-mail.

“We are at this time, awaiting confirmation from the DEP as to the identity of this animal. As a result of this incident, Brunswick has begun to take steps to mitigate this issue with the assistance of the Greenwich Police Department and the Department of Environmental Protection," said Mike DeAngelo, Brunswick School Director of Safety & Security.

According to the website mountainlion.org, “The mountain lion is tan in color, with black tipped ears and tail. Adults weigh 80 to 180 pounds and stand two to three feet high at the shoulders. The length of an adult lion is 6 to 8 feet from the nose to the tip of the tail. The tail measures one-third of the lion’s length.”

Greenwich Police have very blurry copies of photos of the animal near a rock outcropping and what is believed to be its scat in gravel and dirt. They are being evaluated by Connecticut DEP officials.

Savageau said if anyone happens upon a suspected mountain lion, or a coyote or black bear, they should “act large. Stand up tall, wave your arms and make noises. Don’t freeze. You don’t want to act like a bunny.” By acting large and making noise, the large animal more than likely will not view a human as prey, Savageau said.

She also advised residents to remove any food sources including bird feeders and garbage cans.

If the feline is spotted, Savageau said residents should exercise caution in trying to photograph, preferably from the confines of a building or car.
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Tweleve years of dedication Studying "Cougars" taking sighting reports, Tracking & Filming the wild!
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was all over the news this morning that it Really IS Exclamation a cougar. Exclamation Of course it "has to be" an "escaped pet". Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just remember to "act" large. Rolling Eyes
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