Archive for Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dead wild cat found in 2200 block of Bob Billings Parkway

Lawrence woman experiences run-in with mountain lion during morning run along Kansas River levee.

February 13, 2011, 7:54 p.m. Updated February 13, 2011, 8:45 p.m.


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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.


The_Original_Bob 7 years ago

Wildcat? Um, there is no such thing as a wildcat. Just say what it was/is.

parrothead8 7 years ago

No such thing as a wildcat? You sure about that?

riverdrifter 7 years ago

TOB's right. Bobcat. Ain't no such a thang as a wildcat. Even in Manhattan.

Jayhawks(ers) are, however, real. See.

brianne 7 years ago

As of right now, we haven't been able to confirm what type of large wild cat it was. We'll update the story as that information becomes available.

Brianne Pfannenstiel Web Producer Lawrence Journal-World

sr80 7 years ago

i think it was my cat "tuffy" he has been described as WILD!!! by several of my friends and also i believe he had a pituitary problems, that explains his rather large size. RIP!!!

Freestater456 7 years ago

Ummm you wanna put money on that?

overthemoon 7 years ago

I've seen both mountain lion type cat(s) and bobcats in the neighborhood (and once in my yard) near there.

Armored_One 7 years ago


Cougars aren't spotted after about the age of 9 months, or so, and at that age, they aren't much larger than a bobcat.

If the guy from the LJW that saw it could say what kind of a tail it had, that would narrow the whole list down drastically. But there are some large bobcats roaming around Clinton Lake, and while that is a bit furhter into a populated area than most wild cats prefer to be, it's still not unlikely to be a large bobcat...

orioledw 7 years ago

I've seen a cat over by Monterrey Way and Sixth Street about 3 or 4 years ago...tan color and large but I"m not a cat expert so couldn't tell you exactly what I kind it was.

johnptretbar 7 years ago

Just in time for the game tomorrow? hmmmmmmmmm

riverdrifter 7 years ago

"He said the cat was larger than a bobcat and appeared spotted like a leopard." Sounds like a bobcat. Most folks have an inflated view of just how big a bobcat is. Mountain lions gots no spots.

Holy crap, Bob Dylan's on!


somewhereinoz 7 years ago

a young or adelesent cat would have spots

RoeDapple 7 years ago

As Armored_One pointed out, mountain lion cubs are spotted up to around nine months.

Flap Doodle 7 years ago

Back about 1994, I looked out the window of the Golf Course Superintendent's HQ and saw a bobcat strolling across an open field in broad daylight. Them big kitties are out there.

kernal 7 years ago

My guess is you don't live in Lawrence. Bobcats have been spotted in West Lawrence over the years. I've seen coyotes, fox, raccoons and deer while living in West Lawrence. Plenty of possums and raccoons in East Lawrence as well.

riverdrifter 7 years ago

Been a few jags observed down on the Rio Grande but way too far north for here. I'd still wagger this is a bob. Could also be a 'pet'. Just got myself one-a-them Reconyx trail cams. Hung it on the porch post last night for a test run and it took pictures of a college gal getting dumped at 03:57:44 this morning. Tomorrow it gets deployed into the deepest timber in the county in search of a big cat. They are here. Running out of time, though, leaf-out is ~2 months away.

riverdrifter 7 years ago

Monochrome infrared image. Cannot say color of tail for sure. Sorry.

Jeff Cuttell 7 years ago

Boston_Corbett (anonymous) replies…

What color was the tail?

Of the "college gal"?

sr80 7 years ago

probably some drunk and stoned fratboy trying to get back to the house before his mommy found out he wasn't home!!!!

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

Relax, the DNR assured my life partner and I there are no mountain lions in the area. This was a big relief after thinking we both independently witnessed a 140 -160 lb. cat with a long tail bounding across a field at less than 100 yards distance.

On your way, nothing to read here, nothing to it, on your way folks, just an overgrown house cat, keep moving.

Smalltalk 7 years ago

So, Who is going to be stuck doing the litter box?

independent_rebel 7 years ago

Seeing a bobcat in town is not typical, but not a shock either. I've seen many bobcats while hiking around Clinton Lake over the years. I've seen red foxes, coyotes, deer, and an occassional college couple engaging in carnel knowledge off the beaten path, as well.

Mandie Eutsler 7 years ago

I saw a bobcat in the North Folks Road area in September. It ran by less than 50 ft. from where I was standing. I was terrified!!!!

btubbs 7 years ago

lions, tigers and bears oh my

ralphralph 7 years ago

"Wildcat" ???

Don't know what to think of that piece of reporting, except that it is Sunday. There are a tremendous number of "bobcats" in Kansas. There are enough sightings by well-informed persons to believe there are a few mountain lions. Tend to agree that "Wildcats" only exist at school mascots. Curious what this animal is ... shouldn't be that hard to tell. Somebody whip out the LJW Official Style Book and Dichotomous Key for Large Mammals.

jay25 7 years ago

Wildcat - b: any of various small or medium-sized cats (as the lynx or ocelot)

I don't know what to think of that piece of commenting, except that it is Sunday.

There is enough information in the article that explains that the mammal is unknown, "He said the cat was larger than a bobcat and appeared spotted like a leopard."

There is tremendous information in the comments section that explains that the mammal is unknown, especially when the article's reporter actually writes, "As of right now, we haven't been able to confirm what type of large wild cat it was. We'll update the story as that information becomes available."

Somebody whip out a book that explains basic reading comprehension and a guide about manners.

ralphralph 7 years ago

There aren't many choices in this area. A quick look would tell you the difference, if you have even the least bit of knowledge and aren't a 15-year old girl from Leawood.

bigdave 7 years ago

Did it hit the walk way over Iowa on the way to the game again?!!

Steve Jacob 7 years ago

I am shocked that sanitation workers are on duty on a Sunday night.

Steve Jacob 7 years ago

I am shocked that sanitation workers are on duty on a Sunday night.

Charlie Sabotage 7 years ago

Young mountain lions are spotted, has no one seen "Benji"? Anyway, it would have been nice if the passer-by could have had insight as to whether or not the police surrounded cat had a tail. DETAILS PEOPLE, details. Or maybe, someone in that area has a problem and is raising illegal "wildcats" and one got loose. Who knows?
No one reported hitting a large cat? Wouldn't that be something a person would call in? If they hit something that big and killed it, it would have caused damage to the car, no?

RugerLCP 7 years ago

Sounds like a good reason to carry a concealed weapon...

PalinPalms 7 years ago

What no respect for the hunter? It's a real trick to keep your truck straight while shooting the big big cat

some_random_person 7 years ago

These big cats are around, though scarce. The question is, are they breeding? Not likely, but a possibility...

On 1061 (?) S of Eudora I saw what I thought to be a small doe while driving to work. It crossed the road from W to E but when it got to a fence on the other side it went UNDER the fence, a deer would jump it.. It was goldish brown in color with a long tail, so that was the second indication it wasn't a doe. Don't think it was a dog though, if it were it would be a golden retriever or lab, and it was most definately bigger than an adult dog. I did see it from a distance though, so who knows....Kinda scary, because it went into a heavily wooded area and just up the hill, not more than 1/4 mi, was a home with children toys in the yard....

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

This is near where I saw one too.

kernal 7 years ago

Some Great Danes are also the color of yellow labs.

some_random_person 7 years ago

Great Danes are somewhat of a rarity. Not many people have a great dane so the probability is lower in my mind compared to a retriever or lab. But good point, I did not know Great Danes could be a goldish brown. The place I saw the rumored "mountain lion" was about 2-3 miles north of 1061/56 Hwy intersection. It crossed the open field (bizarre, i know) on the west between N300 and N400 Roads (if my memory serves). There is a guy that hunts a wooded area very close to where I saw it. If he reads this he needs to put a carcass and a game camera out there to see what shows up....

One interesting thing I learned in my last trip to Yellowstone was that in the entire park there are only 17 (i think) mountain lions running around...

sickofdummies 7 years ago

I saw one in an open lot by our house a few years back. At night, I, too, thought it looked the size of a small deer, until lifted its paw and cleaned its face. Scary!

broddie 7 years ago

Pictures or it didn't happen.

greenworld 7 years ago

if this thing had a long tail than it wasnt a bobcat. bobcats have short stubby tails. it was probly something pre-historic.

pace 7 years ago

They have been seeing more ocelots in the southwest. I am sorry they found it this way but am very curious what kind of wild cat it is.

anagram 7 years ago

I love living in Kansas. Roadkill is front-page news here.

RibMan 7 years ago

There's been a family of them living in the woods behind Long Leaf off Bob Billings for years. It's not that unusual to see one running across the street in broad daylight. It's amazing there's been a debate whether or not they existed in that area. Why is that so hard to believe and Inspector Clouseau could have found them on any given day the past 10 years. The fact that "State officials" say they didn't exist is par for the course. It's worse than clueless. It's denial for absolutely no reason. But, let's keep paying them and funding their pensions.

GardenMomma 7 years ago

There ARE bobcats in that neighborhood. They follow the creek up through the golf course. Foxes too.

riverdrifter 7 years ago

Autie makes a cameo appearance...!

Notice I did NOT thread. Thank you and good night.

riverdrifter 7 years ago

Oh, wait, yes, I did to Boston. Nevermind.

This threading thing is a vicious and insidious trap.

ResQd 7 years ago

Several years back there was a story about these wild animals taking small dogs out of yards in Alvamar because they have no fences. The dogs were kept in invisible fences and left unattended. Keep your pets up!

DillonBarnes 7 years ago

From KDWP blog:

Every year there are numerous reports of mountain lion sightings in Kansas, which is not all that surprising. Mountain lions are native to Kansas, and they have been documented in all of our neighboring states. A young male lion may have a home range of up to 200 square miles, and may wander many miles to establish that range. However, it is surprising to hear the conspiracy theories about the department. There are stories that KDWP denies mountain lions exist in the state, or that we stocked them, that we've orchestrated cover-ups when mountain lions were killed, or even that we have tiny transmitters embedded in mountain lions. These stories are all false, of course. The truth is that in modern times there has not been indisputable evidence of a wild Kansas mountain lion -- a photo, a track or a carcass from a road-kill. We invite you to tell us what you have heard or seen regarding mountain lions in Kansas.

measles 7 years ago

Anything about the driver? I can't imagine hitting a big cat of any type going up to 45 mph (that's the speed limit on that part of Bob Billings, I believe) and not doing a great deal of damage to your car.

I think it's pretty amazing that a wild animal of that size, and perhaps several, could survive in Lawrence. You gotta give him props for that. My condolences to his family, if he had one. Or hers.

Randall Barnes 7 years ago

i saw 2 monkeys run across 23rd street st.

rlmtyco 7 years ago

ive seen one off of like trail and Monterrey Way before, it was about 3 years ago as I was walking my dog about 11 at night...scared the heck out of me, grabbed my dog and walked away as best I could....didnt know anything about their habits at that time so wasnt sure what to do.

Wendy magillicutty 7 years ago

I saw a werewolf at trader vics. And his hair was perfect.

riverdrifter 7 years ago

Little old lady got mutilated late last night...

hawk780 7 years ago

I would put money on it being a bob cat. I lived west of Wakarusa and Billings Parkway (15th street then circa 2003) during college and we would see bob cats in our back yard every now and again.

pace 7 years ago

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

Just being a nit picker but urban legends are usually tales that are false. More sighting being reported would make the West Campus mountain lion rise to be factual, not the opposite.

Stuart Evans 7 years ago

tell me this.. There have been thousands of bigfoot sightings around the world, and heavily in some places. Is bigfoot an urban legend or can it be elevated to factual?

pace 7 years ago

Are you arguing the increased sighting of mountain lion are urban myth like bigfoot or that bigfoot is real?

Kookamooka 7 years ago

Where are the pictures? I wish a Kansas City new source would have carried this story. We won't be getting an update here in Lawrence. Probably because the animal groups don't think the "public" can handle the truth. We aren't all out to exterminate or relocate these beautiful animals. Its just an interesting fact and it would confirm what many people around here already know. There are wildcats/mountain lions among us. Big deal. Spotted ones are young and that means it isn't a random male searching for territory like they have in MO.

Kookamooka 7 years ago

And another thing! Since I'm on a roll....if I were a journalist and I saw three cop cars pulled over looking at a dead wildcat, I would have stopped, and taken a picture of the little guy with my camera phone....ran back to my computer..written up the story and posted it. How is it we still don't have a picture? It isn't like the animal ran off? DNA? We should have absolute confirmation of what this animal is. Please finish this story LJWorld!

Nikki May 7 years ago

I agree with this post entirely. Three cop cars is news. Something happened. Then to find out that it was something different than the typical. Cameras on phones are the norm these days.

Kris_H 7 years ago

If I were a journalist, I would have a good camera in my car at all times and damn straight there would have been pictures...

I'm waiting to see if they are going to tell us eventually what kind of cat it was. Someone will surely know.

Bobcats are very common in this part of Kansas. I have a friend in Jefferson County who has some great pictures of a mother and three youngsters strolling across her property out in the country. She calls them "rabbit control." :D Mountain lions, I don't know, we really do need someone to get some good pictures to be certain. I don't disbelieve, though.

Jeremiah Jefferson 7 years ago

Some places got big foots, abonible snowmen, lochness monsters, yetis. Kansas has mountain lions

Boston_Corbett 7 years ago

I heard they flew the remains to a remote air force base in New Mexico in a hermetically sealed metallic container. And nobody in LPD will now talk. Someone tell Smitty. Quick.

irunsowhat 7 years ago

For what it's worth, early last week I received an email from a co-worker containing pictures of bobcats that were taking shelter under a neighbors deck. This was off of Lawrence Avenue right next to the Orchards golf course. I don't know if this could be related, but I'm going to guess it is.

John Spencer 7 years ago

Thank goodnes they added a space to wildcat, but I think the title is still wrong, if they don't know what it is, how do they know it's 'wild'? It could be someones pet.

ralphralph 7 years ago

The space IS a step up ... an ID would be better

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

Perhaps it was a Liger, which is pretty much my favorite animal ever.

Katara 7 years ago

They're bred for their skills in magic.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 7 years ago

This was obviously a suicide, and willful misdirection by the Journal World. I snapped this picture of the "wild cat" just before it lept/flew to its death.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 7 years ago

DANG! Broken link to flying Wiz'O'Oz monkey...

simpletrim 7 years ago

LJW... Was it not possible to get just one photo of the dead cat to go along with this article?

thebigspoon 7 years ago

Probably was just a cougar going home after a night out on the town. Headed home doing the walk of shame...

kernal 7 years ago

Maybe there's no photo because LJW thought this particular road kill was too gory for some.

Wonder if it was a Savannah cat.

Brent Fry 7 years ago

It was a bobcat. Nothing to worry about.

The moron that called the police over a dead cat in the road should be locked up to protect society by having one less idiot on the street.

K_Verses_The_World 7 years ago

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl

BigPrune 7 years ago

I remember years ago I was driving on the bypass late at night and I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It looked like something that was tan in color, a torso and some legs, but they had been separated from each other - body parts in the road. I did a quick turn around to check it out. I was dumbfounded by what I came across. The thing I had seen out of the corner of my eye that late night......was a bale of hay that had been hit by a car.

Maybe this big so called thunder cat that required three police cars.......was a bale of hay that had been hit by a car, as well. :)

John Hampton 7 years ago

...Uncle Ted says hi.

By reading the comments here I'm not sure if this is common knowledge, but we have bobcats in Kansas. It's obvious that more than a few posters know this already, but there seem to be a fair amount that don't.

It would be nice of the LJW could rule in or out the bobcat part. If it was a bobcat, it's worth a line or two, b/c it would be a bit out of the ordinary. If it's a mountain lion... it is worthy of a real story.

Again... we do have bobcats here... that's not news and shouldn't shock anyone. IF we have any other large cat, and I use 'if' lightly b/c I think we do, that deserves a little more attention.

naturalist 7 years ago

In the past two months I've been told twice of sightings of a mountain lion very close to where this animal was killed. It's too bad it got hit by a car.

FishandGame 7 years ago

This article is so frustating, I think they wrote the article calling it a Wild Cat on purpose because of the KSTATE game to attract attention and is so unexcusable that they haven't updated the article yet....a simple call to the sanitation department , or to the police department could confirm the species of cat......where did sanitation take the animal, why has no one followed up with a picture? Like I said KSTATE game antics.... one question to police department, did it have a tail longer than a six inches? If so it is not a bobcat. If it had a short tail...bobcat....this is ridiculous.

Mark Jakubauskas 7 years ago

Sloppy reporting.

1) "Wild cat" - was it a bobcat, lynx, feral housecat, or mountain lion ? "Wildcat" is ambiguous and vague.

2) Perhaps some info from Lawrence PD or the City, rather than a water-cooler remark from a co-worker ? SOMETHING more concrete ? Pic of the carcass ? Basic Reporting 101, people.

3) Padding with archived stories from seven years ago; no links to the media covering actual verified reports of mountain lions in Kansas which are more recent than a seven-year-old story that dealt with a POSSIBLE mtn lion sighting.

4) Follow-up ?

Richard Payton 7 years ago

Did any driver's get pulled over on Happy Valentine's Day after eating brownies? That chocolate ale have caused many cougar's to play dead.

Kookamooka 7 years ago

I'm beginning to think this "headline-BREAKING NEWS" and FRONT PAGE report is just a hoax. Shame on you LJworld! It isn't April Fools but you guys are sure looking that way now.

somewhereinoz 7 years ago

I worked at the KDWP headquarters from 2000-02. During that time I found out that KDWP had released cougers into kansas to see if they would survive. They did. And the KDWP has strongly denied ever releasing anything considered to be "wild". A "wild cat, couger, panther or what everyou wanna call it" was shot in Barber county by a hunter when the cat attacked some cattle. Knowing he couldnt lawfully keep the animal or its fur he put it in the deep freeze. One week later KDWP showed up and wanted to know where their cat was. It had a tracking device implanted under the coat. I just thought kansas should know the truth.

Boston_Corbett 7 years ago

That doesn't account for the cougars I see occasionally downtown. I don't think KDWP has chipped those yet.

CHEEZIT 7 years ago

Sanatation dept. at 7:00 on a Sunday night. Is that possible?

Boston_Corbett 7 years ago

I'm thinking there is just entirely too much bathing salts abuse going on around here.

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

ah umm, thank you for your patience ladies and gentlemen of the press. Last night approximately 6:50 p.m. the Lawrence Municipal Airport reported losing contact with a experimental weather balloon.

We have now deduced what erroneously was reported a "wild cat" was indeed part of this reported and confirmed weather balloon.

Due to the sensitivity of this experimental craft nothing more will be forthcoming regarding this event.

Kylee Manahan 7 years ago

It was a bobcat. I live 1/2 north of there on the deadend and we have a few bobcats. The 2 houses the north of us each has had a litter on their lower decks on different years and we have a young one on our deck.

Kelly Johnson 7 years ago

I'm surprised no one has accused it of being a Topeka cat.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

Why couldn't it have been Jacob Pullen?

jaywalker 7 years ago

First thing I thought when I saw the headline was "so what?. Then I saw the 2003 nonsense. I saw a mountian lion - NO doubt about it!!!! - back in 1999, north of town towards Mclouth. .

ralphralph 7 years ago

Update ? Another story somewhere?

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