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Wildcats in Duluth’s Lester Park?

Last weekend, while enjoying a quiet rest on Lester River about one mile up from the main park, I heard what sounded like a cat hissing, but at 20 times the volume of what you’d hear from a house cat. There were five or six of these “roars” followed by a rustling in the under brush at which point I got the hell out of there. I have heard of bobcat sightings in the area but wonder if it might have been something larger, say a mountain lion? Has anyone else had a similar experience or even a sighting?

39 Comments

woodtick

about 9 years ago

I heard secondhand a few years back that a hiker in Hartley witnessed a deer being chased by a mountain lion.  So, a big cat in Lester is a real possibility.

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

I've heard one other story of a mountain lion sighting, but it was in the Superior Township by Mont du Lac.

On Sunday I saw the largest black bear I've ever seen in the Twin Ports. It was trotting across Wisconsin Point Road in the middle of the afternoon, as merrily as can be.

heysme

about 9 years ago

Believe it or not I saw a bobcat just a few feet West of 24th East and Sup street. It was just getting dark but we locked eyes. 
It was sitting in the tall grass - saw the head, face, ear, and tail. 
This is a testament to having my camera in my hand at all times!!!

heysme

about 9 years ago

Sorry - it was just last week that I saw the bobcat.

Craig

about 9 years ago

Does the Plaza Super One have Wildcat or just people using EBT card?

B-man

about 9 years ago

@craig...too funny. 
But be careful, bobcats are privileged and have sensitive egos.  

Back to the thread...cats are typically skittish and can be frightened off easily by yelling and waving your arms, unless of course you are walking your pet rabbit.

rykwon

about 9 years ago

It may have been a samsquanch ... just speculatin'.

W.T.F

about 9 years ago

Yes there are definitely wild cats, Puma, Mt. lions, what ever you want to call them in this region. The DNR seems not to want to admit it for some reason. 3 years ago the St Paul police had to shoot one right in town. This spring we had video of one working its way west toward Stillwater for the metro area. I personal have seen their tracks in the woods where i deer hunt. My brother found a wildcat deer kill in the same area. There is no mistaking a wildcat kill for a wolf kill. Wolves rip the animal apart and eat all of it at one setting. The entire area around a wolf kill is ripped up, skin turned inside out and all the bones are cracked apart so they can eat the marrow. This Hugh buck was dead and a large chunk eaten out of his shoulder and cat tracks all around. trust me not lynx and not bobcat. The area was not ripped up and I back tracked and found where the cat had started to stalk the deer. The cat tracked the deer and after he/she got on the deer tracks he/she walked directly in the deer tracks as if to camouflage his own tracks. As a side note the wild cats are welcome to the deer as are the wolves, first come first serve I say. I'd be thrilled to see a wild cat in the wild.

tony

about 9 years ago

Rykwon wins with the TPB reference.

mendoza

about 9 years ago

I've seen cougars in Lester Park.

Swan

about 9 years ago

I have seen Cougars at the Black Water Lounge.

edgeways

about 9 years ago

Seems to me there was a DNT story about a cougar around the lower Kenwood area a few years back?

Beverly

about 9 years ago

The issue with the DNR seems to be that even if they agree a mountain lion was seen, it might be a released pet. Wildlife officials are hesitant to speculate that mountain lions are returning to the woods of Minnesota. (As if the distinction matters to me when I'm walking through Hartley Field.)

davids

about 9 years ago

Humans seem to have a really hard time believing that animals, especially big ones, continue to exist within the confines of our urban dreams. Yep, they are there, and they are big (we've found six-inch wide cougar prints in rural Lakeside (WI) township mud), and we are lucky to live in the same worlds they do. (But I still don't want to get sprayed or eaten by them!) 

Thanks for posting, Rij. I think we could use a new tag topic--this one doesn't belong in "Weird Stuff," but in "Real Stuff," or "Reality Check" or "wild Sightings" or some such--whatya think, Paul?

zra

about 9 years ago

Cougars have also been seen at the Red Star and Carmody.

Luke

about 9 years ago

Yes!  Mountain lions in city parks, cougars in local bars and Trailer Park Boys on Perfect Duluth Day!

woodtick

about 9 years ago

One other nifty little piece of info regarding big cats: if you see one that's alright.  It's the one you don't see that can really make your day!

Regardless what our highly esteemed MNDNR says, big cats are here and we need them, as we do wolves.  Apex predators like these remarkable critters are key components to the health of our bioregion and ecosystem.

ian

about 9 years ago

Probably Just Steve French, nbd.

Luke

about 9 years ago

Wow Ian, I should have thought of that.  Of course it's Steve French!

HoseDragger

about 9 years ago

About four years ago I was fueling equipment for the contractor building the security road around the airport runways.

 While filling a particularly big tank I was scanning the woods daydreaming and such when I spy a HUGE cat slinking through the underbrush. By huge I mean 150-200 lb. range, dark in color (almost black with tints of gray. Quite the shock I must say for even this semi-outdoorsy wildlife acclimated doofus.

Told a few peeps about this sighting and a DNR type and I got the same response that you will see an occasional mature adult cat expanding it's territory and just passing through.

Then two years ago my daughter and I see a tiny replica of the big cat (huge tail base and hind quarters) crossing upper Piedmont Av. just below Haines Rd. I'm thinking a few call this area home.

funkenschutz

about 9 years ago

Steve French.  By far my favorite series of TPB episodes.  Bubbles rocks my world.

Luke

about 9 years ago

I gotta go with another animal based episode: "Where in the F*** is Oscar Goldman?"...but I guess we're getting a little off subject.

tamara

about 9 years ago

HoseDragger,

Unfortunately, I have to call shenanigans on your post. I have studied in depth the two big cats that appear fairly regularly in northern Minnesota (lynx & cougar.) 

You saw something that was either an extremely rare coloration (read: the North American species of cougar has *never* been documented to be seen in that particular coloration) and an extremely large speciman of a cougar (cougars average about 140 lbs) or not a big cat at all. 

I would have said you saw a lynx, because they are more grey in color and in darker light, I suppose could be considered black... but the size is wrong. 

But then to say you saw a baby version of the exact same animal a few years later in the middle of the city and in the daytime... well... 

My guess is you saw a large Labrador dog the first time and an overweight and large house cat the second time. 

Sorry, folks, but something's off here.

Luke

about 9 years ago

I was gonna let it go but I agree with tamara.  I did, however, see a Monster Quest episode about black panther like large cats being sighted in North America.  That's a reputable program.

wildgoose

about 9 years ago

Swan just made my day with that comment

HoseDragger

about 9 years ago

Well Tamara thanks for setting me straight. I don't make shit up, but apparently can't tell the difference between dogs, house cats and wildlife. Know it alls crack me fucking up.

W.T.F

about 9 years ago

Believe it or don't believe it. Fact: there are Mt. Lions, Wildcats, Cougar,in our area. If confronted make your self looks as big as possible. Spread your legs and lift your arms high above your body and scream like an raped ape. Unlike wolves or black bear, given a chance a cougar will be more than happy to eat you for dinner. Generally they like to attack from behind and above you if at all possible. They leap on your back and hope to break your neck in the process. If they don't kill you instantly they will sit on your back with your head or neck in their jaws until you die. then it's dinner time! If you see one and don't end up being dinner then count yourself as lucky for seeing one of the most elusive and  truly amazing animals in North America. Just to reiterate from a previous post: just cause they are big and scary and can eat you DON"T SHOOT the Cats!

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

Latest cougar sighting: Roseville.

Cougar Sighting Reported In Roseville

Also, I saw Greg Cougar Conley on Saturday at the NorShor.

rij

about 9 years ago

I'm convinced that mountain lion pictured in today's DNT is the one that inspired my original comment.  I'm not crazy afterall...

zra

about 9 years ago

I saw a couple of cougars @ the Burrito Union last night.

Bad Cat!

about 9 years ago

Wow! That's so cool!!! Do you know where the pics were taken? The article just says the bobcat was "on the north shore" - that could be here to Canada.

That shot of the bobcat staring right at the camera is incredible!

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

Yeah, the location isn't spelled out, but from the context we can deduce it's within the city limits ("Duluth couple") but east of Brighton Beach ("between the expressway and the lake").

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

Here's a link to a story that refers to the location of the Greshowak's home as "three miles north of Duluth," then attempts to clarify by noting "the Greshowak's officially live within the Duluth city limits," but their home is, "located just south of the French River."

Who needs the zoo? 
Wild bobcat visits Duluth home, gets snack and takes a nap

So, the correct answer must be that they live in Duluth Township.

How can a house be "three miles north of Duluth" while the family officially lives "within the Duluth city limits"? Maybe they have two houses, I don't know.

Cera

about 9 years ago

Cougars have been spotted in Duluth over the past few years. It's no surprise you've seen one.

My fiance and I were walking in Hermantown along Hermantown Road (and about 10 minutes from Haines Road, Duluth) when one jolted across the street right in front of us. It wasn't cool, seeing as how it was 1a.m. and we were just returning from a peaceful cemetery walk. Lol

Brian

about 8 years ago

Around 3 a.m. last night I heard a series of screams that went on for about 2 minutes. They lasted around 2 seconds each and continued every 5-10 seconds. 

They weren't human but sounded similar to a human howling and we're definitely not a house cat. They had a lot of more volume and depth.

They were coming from the area of Seven Bridges Road near the hockey rinks.

msaxton

about 8 years ago

Sometime in July 2011 while  biking near Hawk Ridge I saw a very large cat cross the road ahead of me. Close enough to tell it was a large cat, but not close enough to see colorings or identify it, but definitely a cat and much larger than the average domesticated cat ... just sayin'.

zra

about 8 years ago

She was probably making her way to the Red Star.

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