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.

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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.

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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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