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WINCHESTER

Big cat sighting probably a canine, official says

An archive photo of a mountain lion.

AP File

An archive photo of a mountain lion.

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The state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has concluded that an animal spotted in Winchester Tuesday, originally thought to be a mountain lion, was probably a coyote or dog, a spokeswoman for the organization said. The sighting was reported in the neighborhood of Dunster Lane and Pepper Hill Drive, Winchester police said. Environmental Police found a set of the animal’s paw prints. Photos of the prints were sent to the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife for verification, police said. Because the photos were poor in quality, the exact identity of the animal is unknown, but the spacing of the toes suggests a member of the Canidae family, said Amy Mahler, an Environmental Police spokeswoman. Sightings of mountain lions are rare in Massachusetts, Mahler said.

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