A teacher is the latest Lawrence resident to spot a mountain lion in the area.
"I'm reasonably certain I did," said Craig Hershiser, who teaches English at Free State High School. "It kind of took me by surprise."
Hershiser was driving south on South Lawrence Avenue about 7:45 a.m. Sunday when he came to the stop sign at 31st Street.
Looking south of the intersection, he said, he saw an animal walking along in the middle of a field.
"It was moving like a cat, a steady, measured gait," Hershiser said. "It has those kinds of features that made me think it was a mountain lion. It was kind of a buff color, with a long tail."
He couldn't estimate the weight or the length. But it wasn't a bobcat, he said.
"It was bigger than a coyote," he said.
Hershiser watched the cat for 30 to 40 seconds, then it walked into taller brush out of his view.
Roger Wolfe, Kansas Department of Wildlife fisheries and wildlife region supervisor for the Lawrence and Topeka area, said Monday he doesn't doubt Hershiser's sighting.
However, Wolfe said there was still no evidence that mountain lions have a breeding population in Kansas. Those seen could be either a lone cougar that has taken up residence here or a semi-domesticated exotic pet that was released.
"Typically, you don't see these things on a consistent basis," he said.
Last June, Lawrence resident Liz Dobbins reported she was stalked by a mountain lion for about a mile during an early-morning jog along the Kansas River levee trail just east of the city.
Other sightings have been reported in the last few years at the Martin Park area, the Alvamar golf course and on Kansas University's west campus.
More about the lion
- 6News video: Mountain lion spotted
- Runner reports seeing mountain lion along river levee (06-30-06)
- Animals suspected in maulings are killed (04-17-06)
- Mountain lion wanders into suburban backyard (02-28-06)
- KU butterfly expert reports mountain lion (12-15-04)
- Cougar 'shot' on campus lands on T-shirt, cups (07-02-04)