Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 22nd, 2008
Dateline Milton, Wisconsin:
Kevin Edwardson has been trapping wild animals for years, but he wasn’t prepared for the creature that lunged at him from a hay mound in an abandoned barn last month.
It was a cat. A very big cat.
The Chicago Tribune publishes an article on mountain lions in the American hinterland, “Are big cats back on Midwestern prowl? More analysis is needed, but Wisconsin man’s story suggests eastward migration,” by Bob Secter, in their February 22, 2008 editions.
The news examination is a long one, gives the usual rundown on track finds and sightings. You can find it on the Chicago Tribune site.
Intriguingly, they mention the photographs we have lately been talking about here.
The Internet has proved a boon to the cougar-phobic, rapidly spreading rumors and hoaxes. Recently, state wildlife managers in Illinois took the unusual step of declaring that two widely circulated cyberspace claims involving cougars were specious.
One false rumor has Illinois officials deliberately releasing cougars to thin the deer herd. Another involves photos of a cougar purportedly poking into a cabin in southern Illinois. Officials have traced the photos to a site in Lander, Wyo.
Back in Milton, just north of Janesville, Wis., the cat story isn’t about rumors.
It began before dawn on the morning of Jan. 18 after a fresh snow. A farmer noticed unusual animal tracks in his driveway. They were more than three inches wide with no sign of claws. That ruled out a dog, which can’t retract its claws. Cats, on the other hand, do when on the prowl….
More here, Chicago Tribune, February 22, 2008.