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Conservationist answers community questions about cougar

Posted at 7:20 AM, Jul 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-27 08:29:54-04

The seven foot long, hundred and fifty pound cougar caught on camera last June might still be lurking in the woods of Bath Township.

"If you ran up into him in the woods, you don't want to make second guesses there,” Dennis Dilday, a Bath Township resident said. “You just never know, I'm an avid hunter and fisherman, i'm out in the woods quite a bit."

That's why Dilday and other people living in Bath Township came to a meeting to learn more about the cougar in their back yard. That's a good thing because conservationists say the more you learn about these creatures the safer you're going to feel.

"It doesn't necessarily mean they have to shut themselves in the house now and never go outside,” Dr. Patrick Rusz with the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy said. “There are probably a few kinds of things you might not want to do for a few weeks."

Like letting small pets and children out at night because cougars are nocturnal. Don't feed wildlife either, predators follow prey.

Rusz says the possibility of a cougar attacking somebody is very rare, but:

"You're dealing with an animal with the brain about the size of a tennis ball so you never know what it's going to do," Rusz said.

He says if you do end up face to face with the cougar, don't run, make yourself looks as big as possible by waving your hands. If that doesn't work…

"Then it's time to start throwing rocks," Rusz said.
You can also rest a little easier because Rusz says the cougar may not even be around bath anymore.

"we suspect that this one is probably part of a group that kind of hangs out and resides elsewhere and occasionally comes down here, scares the heck out of people and goes back up," Rusz said.