SUV Ends Cougar's Amazing Journey
Big cat walked from South Dakota to Conn. looking for love
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2011 2:02 AM CDT
A worker examines a dead mountain lion at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Center in Burlington, Conn.   (AP Photo/Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection)

(Newser) – A mountain lion walked an incredible 1,800 miles across America from South Dakota before being hit by an SUV just 50 miles northeast of New York City. DNA from the big cat killed on a Connecticut highway last month matches that of the Black Hills cougar population, and matches hair and scat found in Wisconsin and Minnesota in 2009 and 2010, the BBC reports.

The big cat's journey was more than twice as long as any other recorded mountain lion trek. "This is an amazing story," a wildlife official says. "I think this distance will be looked at as an anomaly." The cougar population in the Black Hills is thriving, and experts believe the young male was traveling in search of a mate—but headed in the wrong direction. He was the first of his kind seen in Connecticut since the late 1800s.