Dead wild cat found in 2200 block of Bob Billings Parkway

A dead wildcat was found in the 2200 block of Bob Billings Parkway about 7 p.m. Sunday.

Douglas County dispatchers said the cat was already dead when a passerby called it in. It was found in the eastbound lane of traffic and was cleared by city sanitation workers.

World Company employee Mike Brock spotted the accident scene as he was driving. He said he was struck by the fact that there were three police cars on scene and slowed to look. He said the cat was larger than a bobcat and appeared spotted like a leopard.

Reports of mountain lion and wildcat sightings in Lawrence go back as far as 2003.

In October 2003, Mark Jakubauskas, then a research assistant professor for the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program with the Kansas Biological Survey, set up a motion detection-triggered wildlife camera. He captured a photo of what appeared to be a large cat. At the time, state wildlife officials had resolutely denied that big cats existed in Kansas.

A couple of months later, in December 2003, Jakubauskas reported that a DNA analysis of a feces sample from KU’s West Campus confirmed that a cougar left the droppings.

KU’s West Campus mountain lions have since risen to urban legend status as more and more sightings have been reported.

Cat sightings have also been reported at the Alvamar Golf Course in west Lawrence and along the Kansas River levee.