Possible cougar sighting reported |Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|04/04/05 at 18:22:31|richard_f|xx|0|81.153.207.194|Possible cougar sighting reported
BY STAN DONALDSON
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
March 16, 2005

It was a game of cat, no mouse, for Sterling Heights authorities Tuesday
as they tracked one very big feline through the city streets.
Police said the cat could be a cougar, adding yet another sighting to a
long list from around the state in recent decades. So far, claims of
cougars, panthers -- even a tiger-lion mix -- have ended with some
photos and videos but no big cats in hand.
Sterling Heights police have video footage of the latest mysterious
creature, taken from the camera on one of its patrol cars. An off-duty
Detroit officer called them around 10:15 a.m. to say he'd seen the cat
while getting his hair cut in the suburb.

Sterling Heights Officer John Pachla responded to the call and captured
the footage, which shows a long-tailed feline the size of a large dog
strolling through a vacant, wooded lot off Irving Road. It's described
as 40-70 pounds with a white and sandy-brown coat.
Police Chief Barnett Jones said the cat appeared to be limping. He said
several traps have been set at undisclosed locations in hopes of snaring
and relocating it. Residents should be cautious, he said, and should
call police immediately if they spot the animal.

"That is one big cat to just be walking around the street," Jones said
Tuesday evening.
For years, the state Department of Natural Resources insisted that
Michigan's last known cougar was killed in the early 1900s. With all the
recent sightings, the speculation now is that the cougars are exotic
pets that have been released. They are considered an endangered species
and are not known to prey on humans.
Jones said it's possible the cat spotted Tuesday was once a pet, then an
orphan when it grew too big.
"It's something that happens all the time," he said.

Maybe so, but Christine Marossy never encountered a potential big-cat
castoff before Tuesday. Her dental practice is in the 8200 block of
Irving, across the street from where the cat was spotted.
She said she was preparing to treat a patient when the patient
exclaimed, "Hey, look at that!" and gestured toward the window. They
crowded by the window and watched one large tan cat relaxing with a
smaller black and white one. After about 20 minutes, the smaller animal
ran off after a rabbit.

She still doesn't know the species of either animal. Both were gone by
the time authorities arrived at her office.
Anyone with information is asked to call Sterling Heights Police at
586-446-2800.

Contact STAN DONALDSON at or donaldson@freepress.com. Staff writer Eric
Sharp contributed to this report.

|| Re: Possible cougar sighting reported |Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|04/04/05 at 18:23:12|richard_f|xx|0|81.153.207.194|Big Cat On the Prowl in Sterling Hgts.
Val Clark

Police in Sterling Hgts. caught something unexpected on an in-car camera Tuesday, and they say it appears to be a cougar.

There have been a number of big cat sightings in southeast Michigan over the years, but rarely is there this kind of visual proof.

The person who first spotted the cat was sitting in a dentist's office in the area of Van Dyke and 14 Mile. That patient called Animal Control, who responded to the area with police, and police caught the cat on tape.

After reviewing the video, which was shot from a patrol car, police estimate that the cat weighs between 40 and 60 pounds. They say the animal was probably released by someone who had no business trying to keep a cougar as a pet.

Several officers were out looking for the cougar late Monday afternoon, but planned to temporarily suspend the search before nightfall.

If you see the cat, please call police.

--------------------------------------------

From the Detroit Free Press: 16 March 2005
Possible cougar sighting reported
Sterling Heights police get some footage of animal
By STAN DONALDSON

It was a game of cat, no mouse, for Sterling Heights authorities Tuesday as they tracked one very big feline through the city streets.

Police said the cat could be a cougar, adding yet another sighting to a long list from around the state in recent decades. So far, claims of cougars, panthers -- even a tiger-lion mix -- have ended with some photos and videos but no big cats in hand.

Sterling Heights police have video footage of the latest mysterious creature, taken from the camera on one of its patrol cars. An off-duty Detroit officer called them around 10:15 a.m. to say he'd seen the cat while getting his hair cut in the suburb.

Sterling Heights Officer John Pachla responded to the call and captured the footage, which shows a long-tailed feline the size of a large dog strolling through a vacant, wooded lot off Irving Road. It's described as 40-70 pounds with a white and sandy-brown coat.

Police Chief Barnett Jones said the cat appeared to be limping. He said several traps have been set at undisclosed locations in hopes of snaring and relocating it. Residents should be cautious, he said, and should call police immediately if they spot the animal.

"That is one big cat to just be walking around the street," Jones said Tuesday evening.

For years, the state Department of Natural Resources insisted that Michigan's last known cougar was killed in the early 1900s. With all the recent sightings, the speculation now is that the cougars are exotic pets that have been released. They are considered an endangered species and are not known to prey on humans.

Jones said it's possible the cat spotted Tuesday was once a pet, then an orphan when it grew too big.

"It's something that happens all the time," he said.

Maybe so, but Christine Marossy never encountered a potential big-cat castoff before Tuesday. Her dental practice is in the 8200 block of Irving, across the street from where the cat was spotted.

She said she was preparing to treat a patient when the patient exclaimed, "Hey, look at that!" and gestured toward the window. They crowded by the window and watched one large tan cat relaxing with a smaller black and white one. After about 20 minutes, the smaller animal ran off after a rabbit.

She still doesn't know the species of either animal. Both were gone by the time authorities arrived at her office.


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