Before the Drew Kostic Memorial 5K Tough Run at Twisted Trails Off Road Park on Saturday, a photographer for the event, Dakota Stebbins, took pictures of what appears to be a large cat.
“It was a downpour and pretty, pretty good for most of the morning. I had a camouflage poncho that I set up over myself and cut a hole in it so I could get my lens out. And many people thought I was a rock just sitting in the middle of the pathway. I think that probably is why I got the photos that I got,” explained Dakota Stebbins, Photographer, DK5K.
Stebbins says the cat was black and had a long tail.
“It was very low to the ground. I think it was trying to catch a scent. I was just trying to make sure that it was in the clear where it was at. I don’t think it could really pick up the scent at the time,” Stebbins said.
The Department of Natural Resources is investigating the cat sighting. They say there are three native wildcats in Michigan, including bobcat, mountain lion and lynx.
“If it is a big cat, it would be something that’s not native to the region,” said Steve Griffth, Wildlife Biologist, DNR. “There are occasional pets that people have that are unusual, and sometimes they do get loose.”
If you encounter this animal, the DNR warns you do not run.
“You want to act as big as you can. You know, your full height, wave your arms, yell at them. If you’ve got sticks or rocks and things like that, you can throw, you know, objects at them to get them to leave,” explained Stebbins.
For Stebbins, he’s thankful he got pictures of this animal so it can be found.
“It was it was humbling. It was a little bit terrifying and cool all at the same time,” said Stebbins.
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