A large cat that might be a cougar was spotted on Janesville’s south side Sunday night, according to Janesville police.
Police said residents at 3490 Tennyson Drive spotted the cat at 807 p.m. about 300 yards east of their home.
“You could just tell it was not a house cat. It was pretty large. It wasn’t a deer. It had a very long tail,” said Rocky Decker, who lives in the neighborhood. “I didn’t believe it at first because it had a white chest. You could see a black stripe on its tail. We looked it up on the Internet, looked at pictures and definitely knew it was a cougar then.”
Decker and a neighbor searched the area Sunday night after losing sight of the large cat to try to track where it was going and to make sure it didn’t roam into the neighborhood, but were unable to find it.
"I'm concerned for the neighbors here, for the children, for their safety," Decker said. "If the animal is getting this close to the homes, on this tree line here there's houses and children and play sets."
This is the second sighting of a cougar in the area this month.
DNR officials said there were also reports of a cougar in Green County a couple of weeks ago, but they suspect it is the same animal.
Despite the scare, DNR officials said there's no way of knowing how long a cougar could roam the area.
"They are looking for what they think is the right habitat for them to establish a territory and live there, so they may just be passing through, they may stay a while to decide if this is their spot or not," said Brian Buenzow, a wildlife biologist with the DNR.