Are mountain lions roaming around Benzie County?
The question of whether or not mountain lions, also known as cougars, exist in the Lower Peninsula has been up for debate for a long time, but one Lake Ann woman reported a sighting on Thursday to the Department of Natural Resources.
Susanlou Adair was about to let her dog outside on Thursday morning when she looked up and saw what she believes was a mountain lion, casually strolling from one end of her yard to the other. She says the animal was about the size of her neighbors golden retriever, had a long tail, and was tan in color.
"He was a big muscular animal," said Adair.
The DNR went to the site, and says they did find some partial tracks in the yard, but that they can't confirm exactly what the animal was that left them.
"They weren't able to find any definitive evidence that would say without any type of hesitation that it was a mountain lion," said DNR Wildlife Technician, Katie Keen. "So it's just left at this time as a sighting and as an unconfirmed sighting."
The DNR says that they do get unconfirmed sightings regularly, and that many times what people think is a mountain lion, could be more likely to be a bobcat.
"It would be likely to have been a bobcat but again we don't know for sure," said Keen.
"I've seen bobcats," said Adair. "Not in person but online, I've looked at them and bobcats are smaller. They're not as big. If this was a bobcat it was on steroids."
The DNR says that there have been confirmed sightings of mountain lions in the Upper Peninsula, but they don't feel Michigan has a breeding population. Instead they say that the mountain lions that have been seen, are just passing through.
"The department hasn't been able to confirm any sightings in the lower peninsula," said Keen.