PICKFORD (WWJ) – One couple’s property in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is apparently crawling with wild big cats.
Diane Serra and her husband, Nick, were taking a walk in the freshly fallen snow in their backyard in Pickford when they got the thrill of a lifetime.
“It’s always fun to find fresh tracks in the snow,” Serra told WWJ’s Beth Fisher. “We just got off the edge past my perennial garden, I looked up and I thought I saw a fawn to the right of us. And Nick looked over and put his hand up and said ‘Stop and get behind me,’ and here was this big cat.”
The big cat was eating from a carcass — the fawn that originally caught Serra’s eye. She says they headed back inside their house after the cat stood up and gave them “a really nasty, dirty look.”
“It wasn’t a house cat, maybe 40 or 50 pounds,” she said. “Because of the size of it and the way it looked, we guessed — and we’re definitely not experts — but we guessed that maybe it was a lynx, which is an endangered species.”
Serra said the cat stayed in their yard for a few days until rifle hunting opened and he was scared off by gunshots.
“We could hear him screaming at the night, and we have dogs so we had to go outside with the dogs every time because we were pretty worried about them,” she said. “He stayed on that deer carcass for three days. We’d stand on our porch and look over at him and we could see him right on the edge of our lawn.”
Around the same time the Serra’s came upon the feasting cat, a trail cam on their property captured images of what they believe to be a different cat, based on the animal’s size and the shape of its ears.
“There’s been a lot of discussion and the DNR is kind of thinking it might have been a bobcat, but it’s hard for them to tell because they’re going by the pictures that we took,” said Serra.
Bobcats, while not incredibly common, can be found in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula. A firearm season for bobcat hunting begins New Year’s Day. Lynx on the other hand are extremely rare, although officials say conditions in the Upper Peninsula have a high potential for their presence. Both look extremely similar but have distinguishable differences.
Regardless, Serra said it was a gift the see the beautiful big cat in person — just another joy of living in Pure Michigan.