Bellevue neighborhood concerned possible cougar near Harpeth River

Posted at 6:40 AM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 08:14:36-05

BELLEVUE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Bellevue neighborhood is on edge after a post in a Facebook group about a cougar sighting.

Residents of Morton Mill Estates and the Southampton subdivision believe a cougar was spotted near the Harpeth River earlier this month.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has confirmed 10 sightings since 2015, but never in Davidson County. The last verified sighting was in September of 2016 in Wayne County.

"I'm never going to tell someone 'no you didn't see a cougar,' because I wasn't there and you may have," said Barry Cross, of the TWRA.

According to the TWRA, a cougar also known as mountain lion, panther, puma and catamount, is the largest feline animal in North America. The predator ranges from five to eight and a half feet in total length and weighs from 70 to 250 pounds, with males being bigger than females.

Kristi Moore is a Bellevue resident. She lives near the woods where a cougar is rumored to be roaming and she's concerned about her Great Pyrenees.

"I don't know what she would do if she saw a really big creature to take on," said Kristi Moore.

The TWRA is not aware of any sightings in the Bellevue area. If the TWRA gets reports an officer will go to the location, look at trail cameras and look for fresh kill or tracks.

"For someone who sees one and is pretty sure they saw a cougar, I know they feel alarmed," Cross said. "As an agency, we're not that alarmed. A cougar may be in the area."

The TWRA reminds people that if you encounter a cougar do not turn your back and run away. Instead, stand your ground, make yourself big, throw something at the animal and back away slowly.