Sad end to a long journey

A mountain lion killed on a road in the US state of Connecticut on June 11th had apparently walked halfway across the US before it died, according to scientists.

DNA tests carried out on the cat showed it was native to the Black Hills of South Dakota, 2,896 kilometres away, and its DNA matched that of an animal collected by chance in 2009 and 2010 in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

All the evidence suggests the cat had made the longest-ever recorded journey of a land mammal. On June 5th the lion was spotted at a school in Greenwich, Connecticut, but was tragically struck and killed by a car on June 11th in Milford, Connecticut, about 50 miles north-east of New York City. It was the first mountain lion seen in the state for more than a century.

The mountain lion, also known as the cougar and puma, once ranged from British Columbia in Canada to Argentina and Chile, and from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, but its habitat in North America is now mostly limited to the western US and Canada.

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