Sunday, October 29, 2006

Michigan agency will take calls on cougar sightings

Friday, October 27, 2006

Finally, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is coming around to the idea that cougars could be cruising the countryside.

It's high time.

For years, people in the Bay area, Up North and in the western part of the state have reported that they have seen cougars.

The DNR said these country people, woodsmen and rangers didn't know the difference between a house cat or a dog and a real, live cougar.

So why risk an insult by calling the so-called wildlife experts, right?

Never mind the continuing sightings, nor photos of a cougar near Hale that The Times published, nor the report of a Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore ranger who was stalked by one in 2004.

The DNR still insists it doesn't have evidence that the big cats are breeding in the wild here.

But the agency is now open to the suggestion that all these reports, all these years, of cougars in Michigan might be credible, after all.

Three DNR workers will be sent to New Mexico in the spring to learn about these animals.

And, DNR will set up cougar page on its Web site.

The agency is now interested in cougar sightings.

No longer will those who say they ''Taw a big pooty-tat'' be disregarded as panicky little Tweety Birds.

If you see a cougar, call the DNR.

They're listening, now.

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