CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Greg Donnelly was looking through his game camera when he spotted the large cat.
Is it a panther? Mountain lion? Lynx? Monster bobcat? Donnelly says those are all guesses from people who have seen the image, and no one can come to a conclusion. So, Donnelly submitted the photo to Auburn University for identification.
“The short tail and lack of spots has everyone confused,” Donnelly explained in his email to the Cullman Times, notifying them of his sighting. The cat was photographed around May 3 on Donnelly’s hunting land south of 278. The 705-acre piece of property is being leased to hunt deer.
Donnelly has a theory about the big cat, but for now is deferring to the experts.
“I’m not an expert, but it looks like a mountain lion so we sent the pictures to Auburn,” Donnelly said. “We also found prints of the cat in a field we just sowed for summer plants. Those prints are pretty impressive as well.”
Since Friday, Donnelly has been documenting the animal’s tracks, recording a video of the large paw prints. Donnelly sent the video to Auburn as well.
Donnelly is nervous the large predator will impact deer hunting.
“I’m worried it’s going to run the deer off, and keep them away, Donnelly said. “It is our hunting club. It is 705 acres and my partner Scotty Stevens and my kids, we all enjoy it out there and we like to hunt white tail deer. If you have a predator out there like that, it is going to make it harder for the deer to stay.”
Donnelly is not the only person who is concerned. Cullman resident Debbie Bogue says having a large wild animal prowling close by makes her worried for the safety of her pets.
“It is very scary, I don’t want to run into it.” Bogue said. “I don’t want my animals to get hurt. Where I live, there’s a ton of land out there, and I don’t want it to come out and night and I don’t want to see it or run into it. I have two dogs and I don’t want it to attack them.”
So, what do you think it is? Take our poll:
P.S.–we’re in the Mountain lion/puma/cougar camp, if you’re wondering!