GIBSONBURG — The Rogers family just finished eating their Sunday dinner when their 10-year-old son went to the window to look outside and spotted something he's never seen in his backyard.
The child alerted his parents, Brenda and David Rogers, who also took a peek at the creature roaming around their backyard.
Using binoculars that were usually used for deer observation, they examined the animal from about 200 feet away, trying to identify what it was.
They determined it was a mountain lion.
"You just can't wrap your head around something like that," Brenda Rogers said.
Brenda said it was not a fox and had to be a large cat of some sort.
"Just the way it was walking, it was definitely a cat," she said.
The cat-like animal got as close as 150 to 200 feet from the residence.
They called the Sandusky County Sheriff's Office and then brought in their two dogs for the night. They also snapped a few pictures with their camera.
According to Sandusky County sheriff reports, the animal resembling a mountain lion was seen around 8:30 p.m. cutting in and out of the tree line of the Rogers property.
The report said the animal is described as tan or brown with a white patch on its tail. The animal was patrolling a field south of the property about 300 feet from the residence.
However, there was one other sighting by a neighbor Monday, David Rogers said, adding they concluded with the same thing — a mountain lion.
"It wasn't a coyote," he said. "It sure looked like it."
The lack of sightings is leading Brenda to believe it is hiding in the woods. There also are no reports of an exotic animal missing.
Pictures were taken and sent to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to be identified.
Wildlife Officer Brian Bury visited the area Monday to find the animal's tracks, but was unsuccessful.
"I can't say for sure what the thing is," Bury said. "There's no evidence to tell what it was."
Based on the photographs taken, Bury said he could not determine the size of the animal. He said if this happens again, using video instead of photographs can help officers with identification.
"We have reports of this stuff," Bury said. "But very rarely is something confirmed."
Recently the only confirmed sighting of an exotic animal was a wolf in Bellevue that was shot and killed. It turned out to be someone's pet.
Bury said he hasn't ruled out that it could have easily been a fat house cat, adding house cats can get up to 20 pounds.
The Division of Wildlife has not received any other sighting reports.
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