by Colleen, Simon, Craig
(Haliburton, Kinburn, Walker's Living Campus, Hillsdale)
Mystery Big Cat
On Easter Sunday we had left Haliburton village about 7:30 pm. Traveling down highway 21, about 7-10 minutes out of the town, We encountered a big cat cross the 2 lane highway from west to east side about 50 feet ahead. I immediately braked and could not believe the size of this cat! I have spent my life visiting up here and have never seen anything like it. This large reddish brown cat with a boxy head, muscular lean body and a long tail. I came home to Google and found a picture of the cat I saw...seems like it was a cougar.
Too add to our sighting in disbelief we encounter bambi crossing east to west 20 -30 feet infront of us about a kilometer after crossing paths with the cat.
All we could do at that point is pray that the cat doesn't catch the deer.
My father has been concerned that he hasn't seen any deer this year visiting his door for Apple's. Could this cat be a problem? I hope this is helpful to keep a safe community up there.
One of our readers recently wrote to say ... I live in Kinburn, Ontario in a wooded forest area and I saw a large (large dog size) pure white cat in the forest this morning. I had my dog out and the cat started towards our cleared area until it saw me at which time he turned and walked calmly back into the forest. I watched him walk along the back of our property until he disappeared out of site. There is no doubt that this was a large cat. Does anyone know what this could be. We looked for tracks and scat and we can see where he moved through the area but the tracks are not clear, but are large. On a side note, when I went outside I noticed how loud the birds were at the time after the cat moved through the area the birds were back to there normal chirping.
Simon said ... I was out on the "Hardwoods Trails" at the Walkers Living Campus yesterday late afternoon walking my two doodles. We were on the middle part of the trail that runs parallel to an open farming field bordering the QEW, the dogs were about 60 ft. ahead of me on the trail and startled a Big Cat in the field below. I called them back to me and leashed them right away as I observed this animal running along the edge of the field closest to us. I would have been about 200 yards away and watched and followed cautiously as it made it's way towards the highway. That part of the trail rounds around a corner as it follows along the QEW for a short bit. Near that bend is where I lost sight of this cat. My sighting lasted about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. This thing was light beige / caramel coloured, had a long partly stripy tail consistent in thickness and "hopped" along in twos and twos, not running on all fours. In comparison to my smallest doodle who's 75lbs and stands almost 2ft, this things was a bit more than half his size and definitely longer in body. Quite an unusual sighting for this area (I'm in Regions trails often over the past 8 or 9 years and have encountered lots of coyotes, coywolves, squirrels, skunks, rabbits and the occasional wild human, to name a few, but never anything like this) and a bit concerned as the Living Campus is so close by. I just wanted to give people a heads up and be aware and safe (I always have an air horn and safety whistle for such encounters) when your on the trails. Cheers!
Craig from Hillsdale Ontario wrote to tell us ... My wife and I were heading from the Coldwater area north on Upper Big Chute Road to Severn Falls this afternoon. About 1/2 km north of the landfill site south of Severn Falls we observed a Bobcat standing beside the rail line about 50-75 metres off of the road. We stopped and watched it briefly until it deduced we had spotted it and it darted off out of sight. We didn't have quite enough time to get a photo before the big cat was gone. It appeared to be a full grown adult Bobcat.
Thank you all for writing to tell us about your Big Cat sightings.