Mountain lion discussion at Darien Nature Center
Published 1:30 pm, Friday, May 11, 2012
They are going to go where their dinner is, and that is what's happening here in Fairfield County."
The nature center will host a special presentation with Billy Betty, a Rhode Island-based mountain lion expert who has claimed that Connecticut not only has had a few sightings of the elusive cat, but that the state is prime real estate for the mountain lion.
State officials say that the cat that was killed in Milford walked itself to Connecticut y from the Dakotas before meeting its fate on the Merritt.
"For every one you have seen, 100 have seen you," said Hamlen, who has a daughter who lives in Boulder, Colo., a town that has seen mountain lions migrate from the mountains in search of food and breeding grounds as man has encroached on its natural habitat. "They are very secretive. They are up in the trees and in rocks. They won't prance in front of you."
Mountain lions, also known as pumas and cougars, are known to live in many different habitats, from sea level to 10,000 feet up in the mountains.
It is believed that the eastern United States was once home to a large population of the cats, until they were driven almost to extinction and limited to Florida and about a dozen states in the West.
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Betty's talk on Friday, May 11, will feature a 90-minute presentation on the cougar's presence in Connecticut, and will feature a "show-and-tell" segment that will include skulls, tracking maps, a motion detection camera, cougar lures, scat samples and various books for attendees to examine.
The show runs from 7 to 9 p.m. and will also include a segment discussing the mountain lion that was killed in Milford last summer.
"His message is that they are coming back to the East," Hamlen said. "They don't know that it's the suburbs and they aren't supposed to be here."
To reserve a seat, call the nature center at 203-655-7459 or visit the office at 120 Brookside Road. Tickets are $10 per person. This program is not recommended for children under 10.