Mysterious animal spotted in Ann Arbor

Some residents think it's a cougar, others a coyote

By Lauren Podell - Reporter

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - It's been spotted during the day and it's been seen lurking at night.

Some think this mysterious animal is just a cat or a dog, but other people living in the city of Ann Arbor think it could be cougar.

Ann Arbor resident March Such says she spotted a big, brown animal Tuesday running past at about 5 p.m.

She said she was walking her dogs near the Leslie Woods Nature Area when she spotted the mysterious animal. 

"It wasn't anything I've ever seen before. It was moving really fast and was really low to he ground," Such said. "I've seen plenty of deer before and it wasn't a deer." 

Dennis Fijalkowski, executive director for Bath-based Michigan Wildlife Conservancy says he has no doubt there is a cougar roaming through Ann Arbor.

"They've been around since the 50s," Fijalkowski said. "They followed the deer down from the U.P. We've had many reports from Bay County and in and around the Thumb. Any place you have a big deer population, you're going to have cougars."

But the Michigan Department of Natural Resources disagrees.

"We have not confirmed any (cougars) in the Lower Peninsula," said Adam Bump, a specialist with the DNR. "We've confirmed quite a few in the Upper Peninsula since 2008. We look at a lot of potential sightings and pictures taken in the Lower Peninsula, but we have not been able to verify them."

Brad Chick from Ann Arbor says coyotes, yes. Cougars, no.

"We definitely have coyotes around here. While I've heard the rumors I think people just don't know what cougars look like," Chick said.

But Such says she is still keeping an eye out.

"I am convinced there is a cougar out there and people should know about it especially if they have small children and animals," she said.


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