Man insists he had close call with cougar

Jamie Bennett
Published on June 14, 2014

Lorenzo Reid knows cougars aren’t supposed to be found in Newfoundland. But that doesn’t change what he’s convinced he saw early Thursday evening on his property behind Stepping Stones Day Care on O’Connell Drive.

“It’s not I might have seen one — I saw one,” Reid said. “It was still light out and the cougar was stood up on my land watching me as I was watching it. It was cream-coloured or orange, with a big tail on it and white under it’s belly. There was no mistaking it.”

Reid said he saw the cat at around 9 p.m. Thursday and described it as approximately three feet tall and between five and six feet long from tail to nose.

“It’s not like it was dark or I saw it in a flash ... this thing stopped, looked and walked a little bit before looking again,” he said. “Then it just walked casually into the woods. It didn’t run or anything.”

Reid, who operates and owns the day care, was standing near his trailer on the property when he saw the cat standing a little more than 100 feet away from him.

He immediately woke his 11-year-old daughter Hannah and asked her to come outside to confirm what he was witnessing. Neither Hannah or her father were able to get a picture before the cat disappeared into the woods.

Since seeing what he’s convinced was a large feline, Reid has done some research online and found that sightings of cougars or other big cats not native to the island have been reported in recent years in places like Springdale, Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor.

He also called the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary last night and police came to the area to investigate, but were unable to locate the animal.

While shocked at what he saw, Reid said he’s most nervous about children playing in the area and as a result, staff of the day care will keep a close watch for the animal.

Still, the sighting isn’t expected to spoil a planned outdoor movie night on the property.

“Tonight is movie night, but I think I might still have it — I don’t know if they stay in the same area or not,” he said.