The most widely distributed great cat in the Western Hemisphere, the cougar lives in a variety of habitats that offer adequate cover and prey, including coniferous forests, grasslands, mountains and swamps.

The cougar that lost his life recently on a highway in Connecticut pulled off one remarkable feat. He walked from South Dakota to the East Coast, a journey that probably encompassed 1,600 miles or more. And he did it mostly in secret, avoiding large cities.

On December 5, 2009, however, a Champlin, Minnesota, police dashboard camera happened to catch this mountain lion on tape. He was spotted in a residential area near Highway 169 and the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi is a natural travel corridor for wild animals. But once past the river, this cougar faced many big-city challenges that he would have had to think his way around.

Let’s watch the Champlin, Minnesota, police dashboard footage of this incredible big cat in tribute to his accomplishment—and his courage.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,