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Are there cougars in Franklin? Police officer sees large, wild cat on bike trail

May 21, 2013

Franklin — A police officer is the latest in a list of witnesses to report seeing a large, wild cat near the Oak Leaf Bike Trail.

According to the Franklin police report:

A police officer was talking to a resident in the 6800 block of South 68th Street at 7:08 p.m. May 16. They were standing between the 68th Street entrance and the Rawson Avenue entrance to the Oak Leaf Bike Trail when they both saw a large, brown cat with a stub tail walk out from the wooded area, leap into the air over the path and walk back into the woods.

The officer and resident described the cat as being as tall as a large dog and having a light brown face, similar to a bobcat's. The cat had a nub tail and no spots.

The officer followed the cat into the woods to look for tracks, and also found and collected scat of unknown origin. The evidence was turned over to an area wildlife supervisor who is investigating the sighting.

Large cat sightings have been reported in the Franklin, Oak Creek and Hales Corners since November, but none have been proved.

· A cougar or mountain lion was reported in the 6700 block of West Rawson Avenue about 10:30 a.m. Nov. 18.

· A bobcat or lynx was reported by the Oak Leaf Trail in the 6400 block of West Drexel Avenue at 4 a.m. Dec. 1.

· A 200-to 300-pound cougar was reported in the area of Howell Avenue and Elm Road about 7:25 p.m. Dec. 1.

· A cougar was reported by a Hales Corners resident in the 11000 block of West Forest Home Avenue shortly after 10 p.m. Dec. 13.

· A Franklin resident reported that his wife saw a cougar near the Oak Leaf Bike Trail about 9:30 a.m. Dec. 14. The caller's wife stated she saw a cougar walking south, crossing Puetz Road between 51st Street and the trail.

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