Created: 05/07/2014 6:49 PM KAALtv.com
By: Dan Conradt
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- An update on a story we first brought you earlier this week -- we're getting more reports of cougar sightings around the area.
"It just more or less raised goose bumps on me," Ron Janning told us.
It was 2:45 in the morning, and Ron Janning was asleep at his home northwest of Blooming Prairie.
"I heard this real heavy growl, and I woke up and it wouldn't quit. I looked over to the east of the house and I seen a shadow of a rather big animal, something like a cougar, lion."
He went back into the house for his rifle.
"I just shot it in the air above them and he took off running. I thought he was going to come right up on the porch. He was a good sized guy," Ron Janning recalled.
“It is hard to mistake a cougar because of that long tail. He's five or six feet long from the tip of his tail to his head," said Larry Dolphin, director of the Hormel Nature Center in Austin.
“I guess the main thing that probably set me off on it was the way he took off and ran in the shadows of the light from the yard light," Ron Janning explained.
It's not the first cougar report in recent weeks. A cougar is suspected of injuring a Great Dane so badly on the edge of Rochester that the animal had to be destroyed. A cougar is also suspected of killing a calf on a farm site near Lyle a couple of weeks ago, and a second possible cougar attack on domesticated birds near Lyle will be reported to the DNR.
"It's all about food. Predators take advantage of what's easiest to catch," naturalist Larry Dolphin explained.
“We have a lot of turkeys and other animals around here," Ron Janning said.
“Cougars love deer, and there are plenty of deer around" nature center director Larry Dolphin added.
The question now is “Is there a cougar on the loose?” … or, maybe, more than one?
"A male cougar will travel up to 150 miles, 25 miles in one night," Larry Dolphin explained. “They could be down in Lyle and up in Blooming Prairie."
“I'm not scared too easily, but this did scare me a little," Ron Janning admitted.
“They have attacked humans’ Larry Dolphin said.
“I suppose I'll get over it. You do think twice when you walk out," Ron Janning said.
If you see a cougar, you're asked to safely snap a photo and call your local sheriff's office.
They do not want the animal killed.