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Cougar Spotted in Big Bend

While no sightings have been reported in Muskego, the proximity has a few eyebrows raised; in general, the big cat is likely passing through, and residents shouldn't fear for their safety

A reader from Big Bend alerted Muskego Patch to a cougar sighting from someone in the village, not far from Highway L and 164.

Mary Hanson called Ellen Cole a "no nonsense, honest lady" who previously served on the Fire Department board in Big Bend.

Cole talked with Muskego Patch on Sunday, saying that she spotted the "big yellow cat" in her yard, not far from a pond on August 14 around 8 a.m. Her dog had been growling, and alerted her to the animal's presence.

"It was lying there, just basking in the sun initially when I saw it, and of course our trail cam's batteries were dead, and the camera I had was not in the house, but sitting on the front seat of the car in the driveway," Cole explained.

Her suspicion was confirmed when the cougar stood up, stretched, and walked away.

"It had the long tail with the black in it, and when I called the DNR, they said they weren't surprised to hear it, as I guess there was a sighting in Minooka Park in Waukesha about six months ago," she explained.

While no such incidents have been reported in Muskego, either to the Muskego Police Department or to conservation coordinator Tom Zagar, he said it's always possible.

"Generally, they are transient animals, and tend to be coming from South Dakota," Zagar explained. "Most often they are young males, and they keep moving through because they don't find the area desirable. They will keep moving through, and probably end up returning to the west."

DNR officials advised Cole similarly, saying that the animals don't tend to establish a territory like coyotes or wolves, and their main interest is deer. The recent sightings have the large cat in a general area around Guthrie Road between Big Bend and Waukesha. However catching a glimpse of one is tough,  as they are generally elusive creatures, and don't prefer interaction with people.

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