Mequon man reports cougar sighting

DNR says it's possible
Posted at 6:58 PM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 19:58:34-04

MEQUON -- A Mequon man believes he saw a cougar on the outskirts of town Monday night.

It's a rare sight, but a local wildlife biologist tells TODAY'S TMJ4 it is still entirely possible.

Dennis Bersch revisited the exact spot he claims to have seen the animal while riding his golf cart in a wooded area near North Lakeshore Drive and Pioneer Road.

"Right about here I saw the back end of the cougar right there and it popped up," Bersch said. He added," turned and looked back and didn't challenge me."

The 84-year-old man made his way back home and called the Mequon police, who said they could not find any paw tracks.

"When Dennis Bersch called me, I said I'd send out a quick e-blast," said Alderman Mark Gierl of Mequon, to 6,500 people in the email thread.

Good Evening,

Approximately an hour ago, a Mequon resident spotted a mountain lion near the 600 block of W Bonniwell Road.  The sighting was reported to Mequon Police.  Please exercise caution and keep an eye out if you are in the area.

Thank you.

"I also got responses of seeing cougars in the area, in fact, one gentleman says he saw one four weeks ago," Gierl also said.

State Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist Dianne Robinson said the agency is counting Bersch’s report as a reported observation.

"Most of our observations are from (a) trail camera. It’s very rare that we have a person who personally sees it," Robinson said.

Robinson says if you ever encounter a cougar, do not take your eyes off of the animal and slowly back away. Running away and screaming may cause it to chase you.

If you believe you have seen a cougar, the DNR wants to know about it. The agency has an online form to report a sighting for the DNR to investigate.