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Bixby man says he saw cougar, prompting warning

Posted at 9:06 PM, Jun 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-03 07:36:45-04

BIXBY, Okla.-- People in a mobile home park in Bixby are on edge after the property manager issued a warning about a possible mountain lion sighting.

The mobile home park near Memorial and 134th is reaching out with a letter, urging people to not let their children go outside by themselves.

Meet Gerry Andries, the man who may have triggered the warning.

“It was roughly where I’m standing now,” Andries said. “He stopped and looked at me for about five or 10 seconds and walked on across.”

It was about two weeks ago when Andries says he was sitting in a chair waiting for a  friend when he saw what he described as a large cat with a long tail walk across the property.

 “I always walk with this stick in case there are dogs are around there or something,” he said.

Gerry didn’t need his stick the day, he says, he spotted the cougar.

Wildlife experts say confirmed sightings in Oklahoma are rare.

“It doesn’t stop people from thinking that they saw a mountain lion in a lot of cases what people see and what is actually reality is two different things a lot of times what they are seeing is large dogs,” said Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Information Education Supervisor Colin Berg.

Berg says they have a few photos of the last the confirmed sighting in 2014. The Department of Wildlife spokesperson says a warning letter may do more harm than good.

 “Everybody’s natural reaction is over concern a lot of cases and somebody put the letter together and they put it out there, but I would encourage folks let your kids play outside, let them enjoy the outdoors,” Berg said.

“I’m afraid people will be out here with guns trying to shoot it-- might be more dangerous to the mountain lion- hopefully he’s gone on his way by now,” Andries said.

Those who live nearby are hoping the same.

Berg says they do get a lot of reports of people who think they’ve seen a cougar.  But without evidence like a picture or tracks left behind, many of those cases go unconfirmed. 

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