Michigan has wildlife. All kinds. Not all are soft and cuddly species. The list of predators that have adapted to our ways, yet still live a wild and reclusive life include wolves (last month the Michigan DNRE confirmed the presence of a pack of wolves in the northern reaches of our lower peninsula
) and the cougar. And no--neither one lives in Oakland County. And yes -- I know rumors persist about cougars passing through the towns and cities and on the trails of Oakland. Can't say they have. Can't say they have not. But I will say Oakland County is not cougar territory even though this great cat wanders wide and far. And for over a year the Federal Government has posted signs on the trailheads of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore near Traverse City. These signs are truly eye-catching. They advise hikers that cougars have been reported on the dunes and in the forests. Perhaps for this vey big kitty the dunes are just one big sand box! Advice on the sign advices caution, to spread your arms to make yourself look big and to never run if you encounter a cougar: running can spark an attack. And it advises to fight back aggressively if attacked. What I find funny, and a poor choice of words, is the statement that encountering a cougar on a trail will be a 'thrilling'
experience. You bet it would be!