Archive for Monday, February 14, 2011

Mystery of wild cat remains as city workers find carcass missing

February 14, 2011

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It is the case of the missing wild cat and, no, we’re not talking about all those players who have left the Kansas State basketball team.

On Monday — the day of the KU-KSU basketball game — city officials weren’t sure what had happened to the carcass of a dead feline that some had speculated would provide proof of a much-rumored mountain lion that roams west Lawrence.

But a spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department, whose officers found the carcass in the 2200 block of Bob Billings Parkway on Sunday evening, said he didn’t think the remains were going to solve the mountain lion mystery.

“The officer said he’s not an expert on it, but it looked like a bobcat to him,” said Sgt. Matt Sarna.

But, it appears, we’ll never know. Sarna said the officers moved the carcass to the median of the road, and asked for the city’s sanitation department to come pick up the remains.

But when sanitation workers arrived Monday morning to pick up the carcass, it was gone, a spokesman in the sanitation department said.

That likely will allow some to contend that indeed mountain lions do roam the western hills of Lawrence — a contention several naturalists question. Bobcats — unlike mountain lions — are not overly uncommon in parts of western Lawrence. Just ask neighbors of the area.

“Between the bobcats and the deer, we have herds of them out here,” said Kylee Manahan, who lives in the area off Terrace Road. “We were sad to hear that one got hit.”

Or did it?

Comments

bookemdano 4 years, 3 months ago

You're telling me that none of the police officers or other passers-by (I think even one of the LJW's own employees) thought to take a photo of the thing? Pretty much every cell phone today has a camera built into it.

Pretty dumb.

ralphralph 4 years, 3 months ago

Gotta agree .... No photo? C'mon. Everybody has a camera, almost, and every COP has a camera for sure.

TopJayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Aw....the coverup continues.

Remember. NO one wants to admit they are in the area. If they do, then Ks. will have to spend money to protect the critters ala the Fed. Gubmint.

BigPrune 4 years, 3 months ago

What would be the ramifications if a mountain lion were found dead in a fairly heavily populated area, -to the north sits lawrence's largest apartment complex and fairly close to KU's main campus and large dorms? Of course the carcass disappeared. Move along people, it was just a bobcat.

DillonBarnes 4 years, 3 months ago

Slow week for conspiracy theories people?

It was a bobcat.

Kylee Manahan 4 years, 3 months ago

I am the one that said it was a bobcat. We live 1/2 block north of where the cat was killed and we have a nice wooded area between us and Meadowbrook Apts. We are on a deadend there are two houses just north of us which both have had litters born on their lower decks facing the woods but during different years. I have a picture of a young one at our glass sliding door on our deck. He was cute but there were 2 adults on the other side of our pond keeping an eye on him.

pace 4 years, 3 months ago

The previous story quoted a dispatcher "It was found in the eastbound lane of traffic and was cleared by city sanitation workers." I guess that was a mis-speak by the dispatcher.

sherbert 4 years, 3 months ago

Unbelievable. And, I'm not referring to the bobcat/mountain lion.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 3 months ago

Anybody see the Men In Black around the area? Yep, most likely a Bobcat, yes sir, bobcat, yes that's the ticket, bobcat. Now say, I saw a bobcat and let's all forget about it.

slowplay 4 years, 3 months ago

I was there, but all I remember is a bright red light.

Dave McClain 4 years, 3 months ago

12 years ago, I lived in the Fountain Drive subdivision and was walking along Bob White. Between 2 new constuction homes on Bob White, directly to the south of Corpus Christi Church, a mountain lion bounded with 2 steps through the road, and easily jumped onto the fountain/waterfall ledge at the Alvamar Estates entrance off of Bob White road, and then disappeared into the trees to the southeast. I have seen many a bobcat in the area, and know the difference not only in size of the animals, but also the very long tail of the mountain lion makes him a very distinct animal. I was amazed at how graceful, and how fast the animal traveled in that span of about 80 feet. He was about 20 feet in front of me as he crossed the road. Anyone that does not agree that we have them amoungst us is a fool. When I lived on Kasold across from the KU land at the southeast corner of what was 15th and Kasold, the high pitch scream of the cat was heard at dusk many times. That scream was like a woman with real terror in her voice. The cats have been around for years in that area.

emict17 4 years, 3 months ago

You didn't see a mountain lion. Keep dreaming.

Dave McClain 4 years, 3 months ago

12 years ago, I lived in the Fountain Drive subdivision and was walking along Bob White. Between 2 new constuction homes on Bob White, directly to the south of Corpus Christi Church, a mountain lion bounded with 2 steps through the road, and easily jumped onto the fountain/waterfall ledge at the Alvamar Estates entrance off of Bob White road, and then disappeared into the trees to the southeast. I have seen many a bobcat in the area, and know the difference not only in size of the animals, but also the very long tail of the mountain lion makes him a very distinct animal. I was amazed at how graceful, and how fast the animal traveled in that span of about 80 feet. He was about 20 feet in front of me as he crossed the road. Anyone that does not agree that we have them amoungst us is a fool. When I lived on Kasold across from the KU land at the southeast corner of what was 15th and Kasold, the high pitch scream of the cat was heard at dusk many times. That scream was like a woman with real terror in her voice. The cats have been around for years in that area.

Kookamooka 4 years, 3 months ago

This is so freaking unbelievable. They left it there until the next morning? Had I known that I would have strolled down and taken a peek.

In Missouri, when a mountain lion is found, they get pictures, the camera crews are out there filming, they take the animal to a location to be identified. They get information like, size, sex, age. They report it. The conservation department gets involved. Experts and spokesmen give their opinions. The data is important and significant and people want to know.

In Lawrence, KS (just down the hill from a slew of animal research laboratories) they just leave it in the median for the sanitation workers to pick up and....it "runs away". This city needs to do some investigating.

AND!!!! because a LJworld reporter was "At the scene of the crime" and didn't get a picture, there might be some sort of cover-up involved. I can't believe a KU journalism school graduate would let such a great story run away right out from under his nose.

Come on LJworld! This stuff sells papers. But..they aren't really that interested in selling papers anymore. Can the KC Star please start a Lawrence bureau? Did they sign a non-compete agreement? We need real news.

northtowngrl 4 years, 3 months ago

So what.... now we have a zombie bobcat/mountain lion on the loose? Does it eat brains too?

northtowngrl 4 years, 3 months ago

So what.... now we have a zombie bobcat/mountain lion on the loose? Does it eat brains too?

Mark Jakubauskas 4 years, 3 months ago

As for the disappearance of the carcass...I'm not surprised. Quite honestly, if I saw a dead bobcat along the side of the road, I'd probably pick it up (well, if it were fresh!). Great skeleton (if not too cracked up), great pelt. But then again, I hang out with a lot of biologists....I even had a possum in my freezer for nine months one year.

Mark Jakubauskas 4 years, 3 months ago

As for the disappearance of the carcass...I'm not surprised. Quite honestly, if I saw a dead bobcat along the side of the road, I'd probably pick it up (well, if it were fresh!). Great skeleton (if not too cracked up), great pelt. But then again, I hang out with a lot of biologists....I even had a possum in my freezer for nine months one year.

sr80 4 years, 3 months ago

did the possum go into hibernation,. that's along time to be in a freezer!!!

ralphralph 4 years, 3 months ago

That reminds me ... I think I still have a rat snake in the freezer in my garage. It was in a place it shouldn't have been one night last fall, the light was bad, and all I could see was the shape of its head ... though it was a copperhead and whacked it because I thought I was going to get bitten. Put it in a bag so I could ID it it the morning, then got busy and threw the bag in the freezer so I could look at it later.
I'll have to go take a peek.

ralphralph 4 years, 3 months ago

make that "thoughT it was a copperhead"

somedude20 4 years, 3 months ago

maybe it was a werecat and shortly after it died, its remains burned away like a vampire does when killed. I heard that this was not really a Bobcat but rather Charlie Sheen in a costume coming here to help teach our young sorority sisters about his "Wraith" I always liked Bobcat Goldthwait (Shakes the Clown)

thebigspoon 4 years, 3 months ago

Maybe it was buried in the pet cemetary and came back to life ????

blindrabbit 4 years, 3 months ago

This story is a bunch of crap! Bobcats are all over around here; I live 5 miles west of Lawrence and have bobcats in the yard all the time. If I want to see one; all I need to do is hang a piece of raw meat in a fence post; guarantee, the next day! The things are easy to identify; no mistaking for a mountain lion (puma, catamount). If the dead critter cannot be identified, someone is stupid. If however, it truly is a mountain lion (also easily identified by any conscious person) I'm sure the authorities will want to cover it up. Though normally reclusive, M.L.'s in a urban area could cause real concern; lock up dogs, cats, children and small adults!

As an aside, we used to have feral house cats running around out here in the country; no more, the bobcats took care of that issue. Just as easily as the Wildcats took care of the Jayhawks!

ralphralph 4 years, 3 months ago

  • If the dead critter cannot be identified, someone is stupid. *

LIKE

naturalist 4 years, 3 months ago

Mountain lions have very long tails. Bobcats have bobbed tails. Doesn't take an expert to recognize that difference. There are abundant bobcats in the area, we see them around there all the time. But there have also been reliable sightings of mountain lions in the same area. It might seem surprising that no photo was taken but that tells me that the officer was sure it was a bobcat and thus it did not warrant a photo. So how/why then did it become a news story?

Brent Fry 4 years, 3 months ago

In fact, this is exactly what happened. As I stated in the original article, it was a bobcat. It was discarded into the median because protecting and serving the city of Lawrence does not involve hauling away the remains of a dead bobcat. Believe it or not, that is actually one of many jobs that city sanitation workers are required to do.

And this became a news story because some moron called the police about a dead cat on the road.

Gary Anderson 4 years, 3 months ago

Wow...I'm no expert on large cats...but if I had to drag a large cat off the road...I'm damn sure I would remember if it had a long tail or not...because that is what I would have dragged it by. Did the cat have a long tail or not? Yes...not bobcat...no...then bobcat. My 14 year old could figure this out...trained officers and journalists are having a problem? Not passing the smell test!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 3 months ago

Uh, oh.

Where are the Yellowhouse conspiracy theorists? We need them!

blindrabbit 4 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Lawhorn needed some copy; cooked up this story as a prelude to the KU/KSU game! Don't think it ever happened; kinda like the old "Snipe Hunting" stories of old! I'll bet he laughing his fanny off!

Stuart Evans 4 years, 3 months ago

I think this is more proof that there's a bigfoot out there, and he's living off of road kill.

riverdrifter 4 years, 3 months ago

"What would be the ramifications if a mountain lion were found dead in a fairly heavily populated area, -to the north sits lawrence's largest apartment complex and fairly close to KU's main campus and large dorms?" Not much at all. Millions of people reside on the front range of the Rockies in the Denver metroplex. People jog, ski, bike, walk, whatever, right through lion territory every day without incident. Attacks are few and far between and usually are the result of stupid human behavior. Lions aren't going to ask us for permission to set up residence here, but if they do, we'll have to learn to live with them. It probably won't be a big deal to do so.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 3 months ago

I told you all yesterday..... air force base....New Mexico....metallic capsule....no cops talking..... and everyone is surprised today?

Oooopsies, it disappearded!

clovis_sangrail 4 years, 3 months ago

That carcass is probably simmering in someone's roadkill chili pot even as I write this.

"Pa, mountain lion make good chili?"

"Better'n squirrel, but not so good as owl, son."

keith manies 4 years, 3 months ago

Mountain lions are mostly nocturnal and secrective. As long as they have cover and a food supply, like white tailed deer, they could easily have a small population in West Lawrence. Most wildlife experts believe that only young males, who are seeking their own territory, are wandering the state of Kansas. They claim these have come from out West, from populations in Colorado or the Black Hills of South Dakota. They also claim there are NO breeding populations in Kansas and most of the Midwest. If females with young are observed, as several have claimed over the years, then the situation is much more complex than admitted. I know of a lady, who lives south of Lawrence, who claims to have had numerous sightings of mountain lions over the last 30+ years, including ones with a mother and her young. I would hope that a native animal, like a mountain lion, has returned to our state and will be a natural predator of the out-of-control deer populations. It would be a great thing for the enviroment!

Brent Fry 4 years, 3 months ago

We can't have them around here!!!! Walkers/joggers will be scared off!!! We must protect our rights to walk/jog along nature areas!!!

clovis_sangrail 4 years, 3 months ago

"It would be a great thing for the enviroment!"

Until they get old and cannot catch deer any more and then decide they would really rather eat a jogger or a middle school cross country runner or maybe a nice fat camper.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 3 months ago

Most real farmers will tell you there are here, and have been for decades. Been told there is swamp areas south of Baldwin where folks see them on a regular basis.

I expect if every time I showed myself somebody began shooting, I'd live a very seclusive life too.

Why tell the authorities when they try to convince you what you saw was entirely different.

wellknownplan 4 years, 3 months ago

This is so maddening. It might be time to sue for answers, if that is even possible.

I live on the edge of lawrence, on the edge of the public land leading to Clinton lake and not too far from where this animal was found. This summer, I saw what was clearly a young mountain lion walk right through my back yard. For all I know, this was the same cat. I know animals, and the differences between a bobcat and mountain lion are obvious, even from a far greater distance than I was. I didn't report it because given the history of this topic, no one around here seems to believe it.

Who knows if the animal killed in this story was a bobcat or a mountain lion, but with a strange disappearance, I lean toward mountain lion. No reason for a bobcat to be kept quiet.

Brent Fry 4 years, 3 months ago

It was a bobcat. Move along please. No conspiracy here. It's not being talked about because bobcats are common in Lawrence, thus no story.

This would not have been reported in the first place if some moron out on that side of town hadn't called police.

Kylee Manahan 4 years, 3 months ago

I don't really know where you live, but I live about 30 yards from where this cat was killed and we have quite a few bobcats. I sent in pictures to prove it but they may have been too faded. I live 1/2 block north of 15th and Iowa.

bender 4 years, 3 months ago

It was a bobcat, but the carcass was dragged off by a mountain lion before they could get a positive id.

oldbaldguy 4 years, 3 months ago

Read "Beast in the Garden." Once you have seen either one, bobcat or cougar, you will never forget, both are liquid motion. I have had both type in my rifle sights in Arizona and Kansas, never squeezed the trigger, too beautiful. I supect it was a bobcat, dead cougar would have been big news and Fish and Game Nazis would have been on the scene.

topeka52 4 years, 3 months ago

My question is, why did the authorities (police, wildlife and parks or who ever) leave it on the side of the street? If they were so unsure with what it was, why not take it to a vet or some other expert to tell them what it was.

If I owned the property where they left the carcass, I'd be a little pissed with the city!

ralphralph 4 years, 3 months ago

Wow. It seems like there are two choices ... everyone involved is lying, or they are stupid. Okay, there's a third possibility ... lazy, indifferent and fully lacking intellectual curiosity.

An animal is hit by a car. They are not sure what it is. They are in a small city with a large university, which includes a biology department, and there are abundant game officers, naturalists, hunters, etc., who could tell them in two seconds exactly what it is. But nobody asks? Nobody preserves the carcass? Nobody snaps a photo or two?

LJW = Fail.

DillonBarnes 4 years, 3 months ago

They probably didn't make a big deal of it, animal hit, someone cleaned it up. When LJWorld asks what kind of animal it was, everyone realized they never even took a second look at it. Everyone freaks out at the police not identifying every roadkill and thinks it's a conspiracy.

RoeDapple 4 years, 3 months ago

"Code yellow alerts? Mandatory firearms again?"

When did we stop . . . ?

KansasPerson 4 years, 3 months ago

The cat said something naughty and Whitney .... "took care of it."

Mystery solved.

:-)

Jeremiah Jefferson 4 years, 3 months ago

If you go look 10 yards away the carcass is probably laying there in the ditch half eaten by a racoon or coyote. Only one kind of wild cat in Kansas, Bobcat. I get tired of hearing made up stories about mountain lions. I don't know how anyone can stare another person in the face and keep a straight face while telling them they saw a savage mountain lion when they didn't. If they are here, its because someone illegally released them or they accidently escaped a careless owner. They didn't just decide to relocate from the front range of the rockies crossing hundreds of miles of barren grassland to live in Kansas in search of food. Id bet that the vast majority of said mountain lion sightings are actually deer running across the road. When I see a mountain lion walk under my tree stand then maybe I will start believing that myth

RaynRavyn 4 years, 3 months ago

KDWP "officer", huh? This post is almost word-for-word what I was told when I called them after hitting one (mountain lion) crossing the road about half a mile from my house, about 6 years ago near Valley Falls. Had it in the back of the truck looking at the thing, and the "expert" on the other end was telling me it was a bobcat. Lol. Sooo...... We took a road trip. To Pratt. Had several ppl at KDWP in Pratt look at it. Same thing..... It was someone's "pet". We've seen either 3 separate cats, or the same one three times since. So there were at least 2 near there, maybe more...

compmd 4 years, 3 months ago

wasnt it 2003 when a ku researcher actually got a night vision picture of a mountain lion in west campus? i remember seeing the photo in either the kansan or ljw, the cat was looking right at the camera.

FishandGame 4 years, 3 months ago

I talked with the camp host at Clinton lake on Sunday. She saw a mountain two weeks ago walk across the park entrance road by the wildlife office. She said rangers said they had seen it around as well.

Jersey_Girl 4 years, 3 months ago

"I talked with the camp host at Clinton lake on Sunday. She saw a mountain two weeks ago walk across the park entrance road by the wildlife office. She said rangers said they had seen it around as well."

I would think a story about a mountain crossing a road in Kansas is much bigger news than a dead feline. I want to hear more about the walking mountain!

Kookamooka 4 years, 3 months ago

If I were a mountain lion I would totally claim Kansas as my territory. Think of all of the delicious baby calves tottering around on the vast fields. Yum. It's like God just handed me my food on a plate. No need to hunt in these parts.

BigPrune 4 years, 3 months ago

It was a bobcat that got hit and killed by a car. After the body was put on the median, a mountain lion dragged off its carcass.

Incidentally, a mountain lion is related to the jaguar and cheetah. A lynx and a bobcat are closely related.

juststrugglin 4 years, 3 months ago

So any new news??? Would to love to hear where this mystery cat went and if it was determined what it was.

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