NEW YORK — Greenwich, the Connecticut town best known for hedge-fund and banking millionaires, is now earning a reputation for another potentially treacherous population — mountain lions.
After more than 100 years with nothing but news of high-bred dogs and people with names like Winthrop, Bush and Cohen, Greenwich has now had several reports of mountain lions roaming its tony quarters.
In late spring there were three separate sightings in Greenwich, and then a wild mountain lion was killed by an SUV on a highway 37 miles north in the New Haven suburb of Milford.
The Hartford Courant reported that authorities were stunned when DNA testing showed that the animal had probably traveled 1,500 miles from South Dakota to Connecticut, an unprecedented distance for that type of animal.
Since then, the local police have fielded numerous reports of mountain lion sightings in Greenwich. Last week, two residents of a gated community adjacent to a wildlife preserve reported seeing one.
This time, officials warned the locals to keep an eye on their children and dogs — and to be extra-cautious walking at dawn and dusk when the wild animals might be particularly active.
As for the big cat killed on the highway, no one quite understands how he ended up so far from the Black Hills of South Dakota. Nicknamed the St. Croix when he was seen wandering Wisconsin, the cat was the first confirmed mountain lion in Connecticut since the 1880s.
A necropsy showed that the lean, 140-pound male was 2 to 4 years old, had an empty stomach and most likely had never spent time in captivity, according to the state environmental protection agency. His travels were well documented through sightings in Minnesota and Wisconsin; biologists speculate that he later wandered through southern Ontario and New York before reaching Connecticut.