Do you remember the Milwaukee Lion everyone was talking about last summer? Well now, the Town of Wheatland in Kenosha County may have a cat problem of its own.
Two young women, who live next door to each other, were having a pretty typical Tuesday morning when something pretty out of the ordinary happened. They said they saw a cougar and it was just a few feet away from them.
"I can't even believe this happened,” Tara Propeck said. "I can't believe that we saw it that close."
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Propeck was gardening when she heard a wild turkey in distress in the woods nearby. She called her neighbor, Crystal Hart, who’s had her chicken coupe attacked three times just in the past week. She said ten chickens were eaten by some sort of wild animal.
"I said come down, something’s trying to get a turkey,” Propeck said. “It’s probably what’s been getting in your chicken coupe.”
So they sat near the woods, trying to spot what was after the turkey. Soon, they couldn’t believe their eyes.
“We saw this big box head, a long tail and this huge body,” Hart said. “It looked like a cat but bigger. I knew it was a cougar. It looked at us, so we froze. Then, we took off running!”
The duo called 911 and Kenosha County Sheriff’s deputies and the Department of Natural Resources responded. But because there was no photo, and they couldn’t find the animal, they can’t confirm it was a cougar.
"We wish we would have snapped a photo,” Hart said. "We had our cell phones in our hand. We could have videotaped it. Because just like the big cats at the zoo, the cougar paced back and forth a few times before it went back into the woods."
"I am absolutely positive that's what it was,” Propeck said.
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department did send out an emergency alert to people who live in the area, warning them that there could be a cougar roaming.
“I’m glad they did,” Propeck said. “We all have animals and children. That’s our first priority, to make sure everybody is safe."
Both Propeck and Hart are setting up trail cameras on their property so they can document it, in case the cougar makes another appearance. Wildlife experts said it is very possible it was a cougar that had traveled outside of it’s normal range.