By Jim Lynch, The Detroit News

A trail cam picture snapped in late May appears to show a cougar on the move in Menominee County -- the latest to be discovered in the Upper Peninsula.

For decades, the presence of cougars in Michigan has been hotly contested. But in the last century, state wildlife officials have confirmed the presence of cougars only six times -- now seven -- all in the Upper Peninsula. Those confirmations have all taken place within the last two-and-a-half years.

The latest appearance was in an area near Wallace near the Wisconsin border. A trail cam picture taken May 26 shows the body of a cougar moving out of view to the left. The animal's head cannot be seen.

Michigan's Department of Natural Resources and Environment received word of the photo on June 11 and dispatched a field investigator to the area. "The information... collected was shared with the DNRE's trained cougar team," reads a department press release, "and the consensus was reached that the photo and supporting documentation indicated the animal was a cougar."

"This is the first confirmed cougar picture in Menominee County. We appreciate the cooperation of the caller who shared the photograph and contacted the DNRE," said DNRE wildlife biologist Kristie Sitar in the release.

The animals are considered an endangered species in the state.

This May 26, 2010, photo released by the Michigan ...

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