A cougar has been caught and killed near Boissevain, Man., making it only the fifth cougar found in the province in 11 years.

The young, female cougar was found dead in a coyote trap 25 kilometres south of the town on Nov. 21.

Manitoba Conservation zoologist Bill Watkins said she could have wandered up from North or South Dakota, where the rules for pets are different than in Manitoba.

"A lot of people [there] actually keep cougars as pets," said Watkins. "A pet, of course, would be de-wormed regularly, would have the vet visiting and be very well-fed, so what we look for is the normal suite of parasites that a wild animal will have."

Watkins said the cougar population in Manitoba has been growing because of the felines wandering in from south of the border.

"This particular individual was over two metres from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail. The tail portion of that is almost half of its length," he said. "If you see a very big cat with a very long tail, likely it's a cougar."

Watkins said a necropsy will be done over the next few weeks.

He said anyone who sees a cougar should report it to their nearest Manitoba Conservation office.