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CAMBRIDGE -- Cambridge-Greenwich Police warned residents of possible sightings of a cougar in an area near North Union Street in recent weeks.

Police Chief George Bell said two people reported seeing a large cat that appeared to be a cougar, also known as a mountain lion. One reported it was near the cemetery off North Union, another in a person’s yard.

Bell said the man who reported it in his yard had also reported it last year eating a deer carcass, but when the state Department of Environmental Conservation analyzed the carcass and scene, it was concluded a bobcat was the cat in question.

Bell said the DEC also said that it would be uncommon for a mountain lion to return to the same area after a year.

Cambridge-Greenwich Police warned residents through their Facebook social networking site to steer clear of any big cats, particularly federally protected cougars. Anyone seeing a cat they think could be a cougar should call the DEC at 623-1200.

The eastern cougar has been extinct from the Adirondacks since the 1800s, but the DEC has documented at least one passing through Warren County in recent years. There have also been others in captivity at area game farms through the years.

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