A cougar spotted traveling through Brookfield, Wisconsin, last week was caught on surveillance footage prowling outside someone’s home and peeking through a window on their porch.
Surveillance video shared with NBC-affiliate Scripps station TMJ4 in Milwaukee by Brookfield residents Dan and Bridget Guerndt showed the cougar coming out from trees, then going up the residents’ driveway, and putting its paws on the front window.
The footage was captured Sunday. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials had confirmed a cougar sighting in Brookfield Saturday, when they responded to a report of the animal lying under a pine tree in a resident’s backyard. Police said the DNR agents responded to the scene and confirmed it was a cougar.
Officers reportedly were unable to neutralize or use a dart gun on the animal due to the proximity of homes and thick brush in the area.
Police said the cougar appeared to be passive and might have been injured or hit by a car. DNR officials said the unlikely event of the animal roaming in the area could likely be that it was looking for a new territory or a mate.
It was then decided the DNR officials would return Sunday morning “to attempt to deal with it.” Neighbors were already notified to be alert.
However, when DNR officials returned Sunday, the animal was no longer under the tree. It was tracked in a southeasterly direction, but officials said the trail was lost near 135th and Hope.
The cougar was estimated to be approximately 50 pounds and about a year-and-a-half old. DNR officials said they believe this was the same cougar that was spotted in Washington County two weeks ago. (The video below shows the cougar sighting in Washington County, Wisconsin)
Dan Guerndt saw the animal’s tracks in his yard, and decided to check the footage from his surveillance camera.
“I couldn’t believe what I saw. A really big cat,” Guerndt said. “I was hoping it didn’t see my cat, break the window or something. … Definitely the craziest visitor we’ve had.”
DNR officials said there have been cougar sightings in Langlade County, Fond du Lac County and Washington County since late 2017.
“To me it just showed a certain amount of curiosity associated with the animal. It jumped up, checked out the window, and moved on right away. Probably saw its reflection I would assume. That type of behavior I wouldn’t be so concerned about,” Diane Robinson with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said. “If it’s a young dispersing male, which we think it is, it is looking for a mate. It’s also looking for food and territory.”
Robinson said they believed the animal will probably move on.
“Cougars are a protected species, so you can’t necessarily shoot them, but if there’s a potential safety hazard associated with that, then absolutely the DNR would work with local law enforcement and allow them to dispatch that animal,” Robinson stated.
DNR officials confirmed they are working with local enforcement officials to track down the cougar and determine what the options could be, depending on where it ends up, Fox 31 News reported.