Cougar sighting reported on North Campus – Univ. of Michigan (UPDATED: Suspected dog)

U-M Police: Possible cougar spotted on North Campus.

The University of Michigan Department of Public Safety is alerting the public that an animal described as a “possible cougar” was spotted Thursday near Hubbard Road between Green Road and Stone Road.

While it would be very unusual for a cougar to make its way into Washtenaw County, department of public safety spokeswoman Diane Brown urged caution when being in the area.

Police officers and housing security searched the area after the report came in at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, but the “suspicious animal” was not found, according to Brown.

There have been rumors of cougar sightings in Michigan during the past few years, but usually in rural areas. According to the DNR’s website, the cougar was originally native to Michigan but hunted to the point that the population in the state disappeared.

Tip: Fortean Times

A second sighting was reported but discarded because the report was of a black and white animal. There is speculation it could have been a bear but that sounds a bit silly. Often bobcats, dogs or even large domestic cats are mistakenly perceived as a cougar or mountain lion. The wildlife experts say that the odds are low but not impossible since cougars have been verified in the upper peninsula. Even though there have been many historic accounts in the lower peninsula, none have returned physical evidence.

We will keep an eye on this story. Stay tuned.

UPDATE (11-Apr-2012) Reported Cougar Turns Out to be Dog

A dog gone missing may have been responsible for the sighting.

The dog’s owner, Pat Bordeaux from Sterling Heights says that her dog Lily was found in Ypsilanti over the weekend.  Bordeaux says that she heard about a possible cougar sighting in the area of the University of Michigan a couple of weeks ago and had a feeling it was her dog.

The dog was returned to its home.