The Cougar Conclusion

In the Great Lakes States, cougars are an animal caught between myth and migration.

Mountain lions have been slowly but steadily moving east, and confirmed sightings are on the rise. But the number verified by wildlife officials pales in comparison to the number of reports that flood in. Some of those are legit. Most are misidentifications. Others are straight up hoaxes.

This story explores the world of wildcat sightings, and visits the Driftless Area, where black cougars are a part of local lore. Biologists have never documented a black mountain — they don’t officially exist. So what creature might be roaming the hills of southwest Wisconsin?

Producer: Patrick Shea
Host: Dan Wanschura
Editor: Morgan Springer
Additional Editing: Dan Wanschura, Ed Ronco
Music: Blue Dot Sessions, Doctor Turtle