Michigan Cougar News Flash
3/4/2006 NEW MICHIGAN COUGAR SIGHTING-
" I am a retired Police Officer from Grand Rapids and make this report simply based on what I saw. "
Recieved Monday 3/6/2006 to savethecougar.com
On Saturday, March 4, shortly after 12:00 noon, my wife and I were driving south on Patterson Ave about 1/4 mile south of 76th st. in SW Kent County a few miles south of the G.R. Ford International Airport. We observed an animal crossing the road perhaps 100 yds of less in front of us. It was crossing from East to West and cleared the road (a wide two lane with 5 foot gravel shoulders) in 2 bounds.
First thought is deer due to size being too big for a dog. We realized quickly that this was not a deer. I thought maybe large dog or coyote but the was the animal ran and the shape of it's tail were all wrong for a K-9.
We watched it leap a ditch and run west across a field of cut corn. A van behind us pulled off the road to observe the animal and we continued south.
About a mile or two later, this van pulled up alongside our car with the window down. They asked (a woman and a younger girl) if we has seen the animal. I said I had but wasn't sure what it was. They said that they had observed it cross the field and were convinced it was a Cougar.
As I considered this, a lot of things began making sense. The tail was long, more than half the body length. It was thick like a thick rope but not furry like it had long tail hair. The was the animal ran, especially the hind quarters, was definitely cat like.
The color was right. The size was right. The speed at which it crossed the road was notable. I am familiar with what cougars look like from zoo observation, numerous TV documentaries etc.
Never having seen one in the wild, it was not the first animal that came to mind. However, all of the likely suspects just didn't fit the way this animal looked or moved.
A cougar, however, would fit precisely with all of the appearances and actions of this animal. If pinned down, I would say that I would be comfortable saying I was 75 % sure of the identification.
I am not aware of any sightings in the area of Grand Rapids, nor have I ever reported any kind of sighting before. I am not a member of any kind of save the cougar group and would consider myself as purely neutral on the question.
I am a retired Police Officer from Grand Rapids and make this report simply based on what I saw. "
Thomas J. Hollebeek