Possible mountain lion spotting in Winchester - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Possible mountain lion spotting in Winchester

Posted: Updated:
WINCHESTER, Mass. (WHDH) - Update: A statement has just been released from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, which said that it was highly unlikely that the tracks found were from a mountain lion.

"The photo they received was very fuzzy so the detail in the heel pad cannot be determined. The only evident features are the middle 2 toes which look to be side by side on the same plane. The next 2 toes are further apart on the same plane. These are the features of a canid track so they believe it is either a dog or coyote," the statement said.

Original story below:

Police in Winchester are letting residents know about a possible mountain lion sighting on the west side of town.

Officials don't have a picture of the cat but they did find paw prints. Winchester police said a wildlife expert told them it's likely a mountain lion.

One man said he saw the cat outside Tuesday afternoon, it was about the size of a German shepherd and tan with a long tail, police are warning residents what to do if they encounter the animal.

“I’m not surprised, I’m just a little terrified now because I do walk with kids around this area,” one neighbor said.

But not everyone is buying it.

Michael Long said he thinks a little strange for a mountain lion to be in the area because he saw a different wild animal in the area this week.

“I saw it run across the street, go to the fence, literally jump up easily over a four foot fence, and run down. I went to the internet and looked it up and it was a fisher cat,” Long said.

Police found paw prints in the area, they sent pictures to Mass. Wildlife who said the prints strongly resembled those of a mountain lion.

Sightings of a mountain lion are not a public safety concern according to police, but they say if you do see one stay away, look as large as possible, make noise and slowly back away.

The Winchester Police Department has posted more information about mountain lions on their website.

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