BREITUNG TWP. (WWJ/AP) – Authorities say a male cougar that was found dead along a road in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula had been caught in a snare.

First Lt. Pete Wright of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said the cougar’s carcass should have been taken to a DNR office. Instead, officials say it may have been thrown from the back of a vehicle. Investigators want to know whether it was caught accidentally or on purpose.

Under state regulations, snares may be used to catch foxes and coyotes on private land from Jan. 1 through March 1. Cougars are an endangered species in Michigan.

The frozen carcass was found by a woman walking her dog Feb. 1 in Dickinson County’s Breitung Township, about four miles north of Iron Mountain.

Officials are seeking information from the public in the case.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Lt. Wright at 906-228-6561, or call the 24-hour DNR Report All Poaching Line at 800-292-7800. Information may be left anonymously.

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