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Big cat sighting on Orchard Ridge reported
Big Cat on Orchard Ridge
CHAD BLACK was driving down Highway 171 on the orchard ridge, when a large cat crossed in front of him. Black says the cat ran down into the woods below the Kickapoo Orchard.

GAYS MILLS - It was an exciting start to the day for Chad Black, Hillcrest Orchard manager, when he saw what appeared to be a large cat crossing Highway 171 in front of his truck.

Black said the cat easily weighed 100-pounds, and “would make Andy and Julie Meyer’s dog Buddy look small.” Buddy is a cross between a German Shepherd and a St. Bernard.

“The cat crossed the road about 20 yards in front of my truck, just past the Sunrise Orchard picker’s house, in an open area where the snowmobile trail comes up the hill,” Black said. “It ran into Sunrise’s fences, turned around and crossed the road again, and ran down into the woods behind Kickapoo Orchard.”

Black, who lives on the ridge, said that area dogs have been “hanging close to the house,” and he said that they haven’t been hearing the coyotes call for the last few nights either.

“I’m worried about my dog,” Black said. “A lot of the folks up here are worried about their pets.”

Black was able to snap a photo of the cat’s footprints, but was unable to get the cat itself because it ran off into the woods so quickly.

“It ran into the woods and then stopped and looked at me,” Black said. “If I had more energy I’d go down in there and try to get a look at it, but then again, I’m a little worried about it getting a look at me.”