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The Essex County cougar – finally on camera?


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#1 Rox028802

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:17 PM

http://blogs.windsor...12/04/13/26287/

Step aside Bigfoot, take five Nessie, and make way for the Essex County cougar.

After the Amherstburg area has been abuzz for weeks with stories about unsubstantiated cougar sightings, the big cat seems to be on the move.

But now, Bigfoot-style, there are photos.

Jim Dufour from South Woodslee thinks he saw a cougar Friday morning in his back yard. While he was scratching his head trying to figure out what the animal was, it occurred to him to snap some pictures.

But just like the famous fuzzy photos of the Loch Ness monster and the Chupacabra, these images do little to make the cougar mystery any less mysterious.

Even Dufour isn’t convinced. One thing he’s certain of is that it was far too big to be a regular house cat. He took the photos to work on Friday.

“We’ve been looking at them all morning at my work,” said Dufour, 43, a teacher at New Beginnings. “I’m trying to get others to convince me what it was. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not 100 per cent convinced what it was, but it certainly wasn’t a cat. We got a lot of cats in the neighbourhood, see them all the time. But this looked way to big to be a cat.”

Dufour saw the animal around 8 a.m. Friday about 150 feet from his house on County Road 46, near Belle River Road. If it was a cougar, said Dufour, it was too small to be an adult. But it was still pretty big.

“It definitely had thick legs and a big head,” he said. “And the chest looked big on it.”

Naturally, he wanted to get close to the wild animal.

“‘Wow, that’s pretty big to be a cat,’” he said to himself. “I kinda went out there, my wife gave me heck, but I tried to go closer to it.”

Dufour said the animal darted through some fences and into a pasture between his property and the dairy farm next door.

“I tried to swing around and get a glimpse of it and it got into the fence row,” said Dufour. “So I threw something at it to get it to move. And it took off through the pasture, which is about 300 feet across, and it was lightning fast. This thing just barrelled 300 feet across the pasture in seconds.”

This was the first known sighting of a possible cougar in the South Woodslee area. But Amherstburg police have received several reports of cougar sightings in the last month, including one that nearly got run over when it bolted across County Road 18.

Police even turned to experts from the Ministry of Natural Resources in hopes of solving the mystery. The MNR is also skeptical.

Cougars were thought to have been wiped out by the early 1900s in Eastern Ontario. But recent research has documented tracks, fur, photos, DNA and droppings in Ontario from 2006 to 2010, not to mention hundreds of sightings.

If the cougar is a myth, it’s an enduring one. There was a slew of supposed county cougar sightings in the 1990s. Back then the cougar fever was spurred by reports of a large animal that hissed at a school janitor, some large paw prints in the dirt and a house cat’s missing milk dish.

#2 Outnumbered

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:32 PM

Lol that's awesome. Clearly a house cat!

#3 single_mom

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:34 PM

there is another cat right there in the bush next to it. that is a big fat cat. hilarious to think it's a cougar.

#4 TecMommY

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:38 PM

here kitty kitty kitty

#5 single_mom

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:39 PM

I would be so embarassed if I was him lol

#6 Jen.Uh.Fur

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:40 PM

I find it funny that he thought it was a cougar.

I would love to see the pictures of the one that is supposedly around Aburg though!

#7 mom2nico

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:46 PM

I don't know what to think. There have been reported sightings on both sides of my parents' house in Amherstburg. There house was actually on the CBC news report and the second time, the neighbour said it took off down their lane way. It really freaks me out since Nico loves playing out there and his swing is right next to the bush row where the first neighbour reported it. My parents are skeptical though because they have been watching the whole time and haven't seen a thing and my brother has gone into their bush (they live on 25 acres) and looked for tracks or any other evidence and said everything looks like coyote tracks (even the one that was shown on CBC). Is the cougar in Amherstburg or Woodslee? Who knows ...

#8 Kris

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 09:09 PM

please tell me this guy is joking

#9 vals

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:12 PM

I laughed so hard whenI saw those pics. If thats a cougar than I have a tiger...lol. Its a huge ginger house cat. Im not sold on the cougar sightings, although it is possible for one to travel this way, its more likely a large lone coyote. That area has several chicken farms that always attract coyotes and over the last ten years they have been getting bigger. The one I saw a few weeks back was the size of a timber wolf. I did a triple take when I saw it. The only other thing I might beleive is someone had one and it escaped and now they are too afaid to come forward, but still Im sceptical about that even. Either way, it makes for some interesting journalism :). Nice change from doom and gloom.

#10 mom2nico

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 02:00 PM

its more likely a large lone coyote.


This is exactly what my brother thinks! He's seen a really large one exactly the colour of the original stock photo the Windsor Star used that does roam at my parents' house. So maybe that's what both neighbours have seen. He says the tracks look like coyote tracks too. The only thing is, how do you mistake an animal in the dog family with one in the cat family? Maybe by 17 month old would, but seriously?

#11 bcnap

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:20 PM

I live smack dab in the middle of both cougar sightings. ( aburg ones) i know of the one person who made the claim, and that person is NOT one to tell any story, So it kinds freeks me out...
\I just keep close eye on my dogs when they are outside

#12 mom2nico

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:11 PM

I live smack dab in the middle of both cougar sightings. ( aburg ones) i know of the one person who made the claim, and that person is NOT one to tell any story, So it kinds freeks me out...
\I just keep close eye on my dogs when they are outside


You must live right near my parents then. The people we know who have sighted it aren't ones to make things up either.

#13 Hunnybunches

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:50 PM

I suggest hanging outside of casas on a saturday night with a camera...tons of cougars spotted :p LMAO

#14 bcnap

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:22 PM


I live smack dab in the middle of both cougar sightings. ( aburg ones) i know of the one person who made the claim, and that person is NOT one to tell any story, So it kinds freeks me out...
\I just keep close eye on my dogs when they are outside


You must live right near my parents then. The people we know who have sighted it aren't ones to make things up either.

maybe? i am Bar point area.

#15 mom2nico

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:37 PM



I live smack dab in the middle of both cougar sightings. ( aburg ones) i know of the one person who made the claim, and that person is NOT one to tell any story, So it kinds freeks me out...
\I just keep close eye on my dogs when they are outside


You must live right near my parents then. The people we know who have sighted it aren't ones to make things up either.

maybe? i am Bar point area.


They are on the 4th Concession.

#16 Tired Mom

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:31 PM

I suggest hanging outside of casas on a saturday night with a camera...tons of cougars spotted :p LMAO


Win! lol

#17 Outnumbered

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:17 PM

Love the dog prints they posted in the paper today. Cougars have retractable claws!