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Published April 30, 2011, 12:55 PM

Friends wonder if cougar hurt horses near Austin

AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) — A group of friends wonders whether a cougar was responsible for injuries suffered by some horses in rural Austin.

AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) — A group of friends wonders whether a cougar was responsible for injuries suffered by some horses in rural Austin.

The alleged attack happened on April 20 northwest of Austin. Jolene Morrison noticed her horse, Sapphire, had a bad limp, numerous gashes and missing hair. The mare's 2-year-old colt also was hurt.

Homeowner Glenn Ward, who boards the horses, tells the Austin Daily Herald he's certain it's a cougar. Ward says something would have had to jump the fence to get in.

DNR officials and the Freeborn County sheriff's office haven't been able to prove what caused the horses' wounds. The DNR says it's unlikely it's a cougar.

Meanwhile, Ward and Morrison are keeping the horses locked in the barn until they think things are safe.

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