More Cougar Sightings Reported In Bennington

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

There are more reports of big cats being sighted in the Bennington area. Friday morning, Douglas County Sheriff's Department deputies took two reports of cougars south of town.

Residents are aware of the reports and are keeping an eye out for cougars, but they are not living in fear. From her hilltop, Laura Anderson can see much of the valley south of Bennington and she likes what she sees. "It's beautiful, especially in the winter. It's very quiet."

A lot of people like the peace and quiet. Homes are going up in many of the neighborhoods around Bennington, but they are building on habitat that once belonged to deer and other animals. "Deer, and we've seen then from the house, coyotes and fox before, just a variety."

Laura hasn't seen any cougars, but wouldn't be too surprised if there was a big cat in the area. To be on the safe side, she's keeping a closer eye on the kids.

Nichole Showman just recaptured her dog Bella, who enjoys her infrequent dashes to leash freedom. Showman has heard the cougar stories too, but she's not concerned. "I grew up on a farm so I guess it's not too big of a deal for me. Just stay indoors and that kind of stuff."

It's easy to dismiss the cougar sightings as a wild imagination or a misidentification of a wildlife species, but back in October of 2003 a big cat was spotted and captured in the Old Mill neighborhood near 108th and Dodge. You can visit the cougar named Omaha at the Henry Doorly Zoo.

Douglas County deputies tell Channel 6 News they cannot confirm the cougar sightings. In both of Friday's cases, the time between seeing the suspected cougar and reporting it was about 40 minutes.

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