Skip to main content

A Twin Cities resident had a once-in-a-lifetime cougar sighting Monday evening while returning home from Dairy Queen. 

Shakopee resident Andrew Pastrana said he spotted the large cat in the backyard of a residence in the 1900 block of Boiling Springs Circle shortly before 9:30 p.m. 

The 18-year-old was heading home from Dairy Queen with his siblings and cousin when they spotted a coyote and stopped to take a look. 

When they turned around again to head towards home, Pastrana said another animal caught his eye — he snapped a picture, believing he'd spotted another coyote. 

Later, looking at the photograph, his sister said the animal looked more like a lion. 

"Then I started noticing it didn't look like a coyote at all," Pastrana remembered. "A lot of people told me it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a picture like that. 

A cougar spotted near County Road 18 and Preserve Trail in Shakopee on July 18, 2022. Photo by Andrew Pastrana. 

A cougar spotted near County Road 18 and Preserve Trail in Shakopee on July 18, 2022. Photo by Andrew Pastrana. 

While mountain lion sightings in the Twin Cities are extremely rare, such sightings aren't unheard of near the Minnesota River. 

Pastrana said his family reported the sighting to the Shakopee Police Department and learned another sighting had already been recently reported. 

There've been several unconfirmed sightings reported in neighboring Savage in recent years and a confirmed sighting in 2002. 

And, in 2020, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirmed a 115-pound cougar had been struck and killed by a car near I-494 and I-35W in Bloomington. 

There were a 12 sightings verified that year, according to the DNR. 

"While evidence might suggest the animal's prevalence is increasing, the number of verified cougar observations indicate that cougar occurrence in Minnesota is a result of transient animals from the Western Dakotas," the DNR states, adding bobcats, house cats, wolves and other animals have all been mistaken for cougars. 

Source: Department of Natural Resources. 

Source: Department of Natural Resources. 

Sadly, it appears the cougar spotted in Shakopee this week has since been killed. The Savage Police Department has confirmed an officer located a deceased cougar on Tuesday.

Find our latest update here

Next Up

Bar beer

Study: Excessive drinking cost Minnesotans almost $8 billion in 2019

The study was published by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.

Disney+

Price of Disney+ is going up, unless you want ads

The ad-free version of Disney+ will increase from $7.99 per month to $10.99 per month, effective Dec. 8.

SuspectsWantedMOAShooting

Mall of America shooting suspects arrested in Chicago

The two suspects were spotted leaving a barber shop.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

Walz: Increased state law enforcement presence to stay in Twin Cities

A multi-agency effort to curb crime will go on until further notice.

SuspectsWantedMOAShooting

Bloomington PD to provide update on Mall of America shooting investigation

There's unconfirmed reports the suspected gunman and an accomplice have been arrested.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 3.14.27 PM

Motorcyclist found dead behind guardrail 6 hours after crash

The crash happened before sunset Wednesday, but no one called 911.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 2.49.44 PM

Strike vote set for 15,000 Minnesota nurses

If the nurses walk off the job, Minnesota would be home to one of the largest nurses strikes in U.S. history.

DSC_8611

Iowa Gov. asks court to lift injunction on 'heartbeat' abortion ban

A court challenge seeks to revive Iowa's abortion ban.

zipper merge, construction

6 transportation projects in Minnesota get $100M federal funding

The projects extend to areas all across the state.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, August 9

The number of cases in the latest reporting period dropped compared to the previous week's update.

Related

Possible cougar sighting.

DNR: 'Cougar' spotted in Eden Prairie is probably just a coyote

There have been other purported big cat sightings in the area recently.

cougar, puma, lynx

Dodge Center on alert after resident spots cougar from their property

People are being advised to keep an eye on kids and pets.

Screen Shot 2022-07-25 at 4.50.09 PM

Badger Hill to relocate brewery and taproom in Shakopee

A local Mexican restaurant will also relocate to the new space.

image

Renderings unveiled for 19,000-seat Shakopee amphitheater

Shakopee is already a major entertainment hub in the Twin Cities metro, drawing millions of visitors annually.

image

Charges: Driver had just left local bar before deadly Shakopee crash

Witnesses said they were unable to help the 19-year-old Eden Prairie man who died in the crash after becoming trapped.

cougar Bloomington

115-pound cougar fatally struck by car in the Twin Cities

It happened in the area of I-494 and I-35W in Bloomington.