Covering Kentucky

Jun 30, 2012 1:33 PM

Police Say Big Cats Seen In Northeast Kentucky

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) - Whatever may be prowling around Ashland doesn't appear to be a typical Kentucky Wildcat.

Ashland Police Maj. Todd Kelley said two people have called in reports of seeing a mountain lion or cougar around the city in the last several days. Kelley told The Independent that the sightings haven't been confirmed by animal control officers or police, but people should not approach any unfamiliar large animal.

"We thought it was maybe more like a wildcat but they said it was bigger than that," he said. "We said mountain lion or cougar species in the press release because we don't know what else to call it."

Animal control responded to the sighting on Forest Avenue but didn't spot the big cat, he said. Still, Kelley said, the sightings were enough to warn the public about the possibility of big cats around the city limits.

It's another example of the outdoors coming into the city. Kelley said there is a heavy deer population here and have been sightings of foxes, wolves and even an occasional bear inside the city limits.

"There are small (deer) herds in residential areas," he said. "It's nothing for me to come over the hill and see six or eight deer."

But cougars and mountain lions? Wild kingdom has come to Ashland.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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