Back in October of last year, East Haddam Animal Control Officer Michael Olzacki was on his way to a residential animal-control call when he spotted what he says was a just off Route 149 and Creek Row, along the power-line corridor.
"I was shocked to see the animal in East Haddam; really shocked," Olzacki said at the time. Since then, he has continued to get “numerous reports of a mountain lion in our area.”
As recent as two Sundays ago, Olzacki said a resident reported a mountain lion sighting “between Moodus Auto Center and the senior housing.”
After decades of reports, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), however, has only been able to confirm one mountain lion sighting in the state; the one last year where a mountain lion was .
The process for confirming a mountain lion sighting through DEEP includes positive identification such as a body, photographic evidence or track identification. is also analyzed for possible identification.
Mountain lions have a rounded face, are tawny in color and have a distinguishable long, heavy tail. They are large predators weighing anywhere from 80 to 180 pounds. The mountain lion has been called cougar, puma, catamount and sometimes panther. Along with animals like deer, coyotes and raccoons, mountain lions like to prey on small livestock such as chickens and goats, hunting at night or in the early hours of the morning.
Olzacki believes what he saw in October was identifiable as a mountain lion and is currently looking for information on additional possible sightings from residents.