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Sunday, 02 August 2015 21:42

Beloit warns of possible Cougar sighting

Written by  Elliott Huges/Gazettextra.com
A city of Beloit parks department employee posts a warning sign Aug. 2, 2015 A city of Beloit parks department employee posts a warning sign Aug. 2, 2015

BELOIT—The city of Beloit is cautioning the public after two city employees spotted a cougar in Big Hill Park earlier this week.

In a Facebook post Friday, the city's parks department warned the public about the sighting. It is not clear what day the cougar was seen.

No one at the city's public works department was available for comment Sunday, however, Sgt. Mark Franseen of the Beloit Police Department said the department is fully aware of the report.

Franseen told the Gazette he wasn't sure how credible the sighting was.

“Without a professional, someone who knows what a cougar looks like, we don't know if there's a cougar,” he said.

Franseen said if someone gets a picture of a suspected cougar, “that would be great,” but nobody should put themselves in danger doing so.

“We tell people to pay attention to their surroundings,” he said.

The city also has placed a sign advocating for caution at the entrance of the park, according to the Facebook post.

Franseen said anyone who believes he or she has spotted a cougar should call the Rock County Sheriff Department's non-emergency number, 608-757-2244. If in immediate danger, call 911.

The website for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources describes a cougar as a “reclusive animal” that would “rarely reveal its presence.”

If confronted by a cougar, the DNR advises to keep an eye on the animal, slowly back away while standing tall, waving your arms, throwing stones and yelling. Do not immediate flee.

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