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‘Uh oh’: Trapper catches live cougar near Minitonas, Man.

It’s not every day a Manitoban can say they’ve seen a cougar, much less catch one. But Clint Janzen can.

In over 40 years of trapping, he said he has never seen a cougar before. But on Feb. 20 near Minitonas, Man. “lo and behold, I caught a cougar,” Janzen said.

“I could see it when we were going down the trail for 15, 20 yards. ‘Uh oh. That’s a cougar. Now what do we do?’”

First, he said he and a friend walked up to make sure the cougar was OK and wouldn’t be able to come after them.

“She did make some growling and snarling sounds, so we just backed up a bit, took 30 seconds of video and a few pictures, and backed out,” he said.

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Janzen said he called conservation officers “right there and asked what they would like me to do with it. They called me back within five minutes.”

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The Manitoba government said this is the first time a cougar has been captured alive in the province, and said it said it appreciates Janzen’s work.

“This incident presented a unique opportunity to learn more about the movement and habits of these elusive animals, especially because this is a female, so staff took a number of measurements, along with hair and blood samples as well as attaching a radio collar,” the province said, adding the collar will transmit location information twice a day.

“Samples of hair, blood and feces have also been sent to the Assiniboine Park Zoo for DNA analysis, adding to a small dataset already collected from other cougars in Manitoba.”

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Right now, the government said it’s believed the female cougar was not yet an adult, but could also just be small.

Usually, it said sightings happen in the west part of the province, like Riding Mountain, Duck Mountain and Porcupine Hills.

It added that the wild cats generally avoid humans, but in the event of a sighting, photo or video evidence should be sent to local conservation officers.

More information about cougars can be found on a provincial factsheet.

Click to play video: 'Four cougars caught on Port Moody wildlife camera'

Four cougars caught on Port Moody wildlife camera

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