Rice Lake Township Girl Encounters Big Cat on Way to Bus Stop

By KBJR News 1

November 2, 2011 Updated Nov 2, 2011 at 10:12 PM CDT

RICE LAKE TOWNSHIP, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - A family near Rice Lake township is on edge tonight after their 8-year-old daughter says she encountered a big cat on the way to the school bus.

Her description led her parents to believe she may have seen cougar.

Leah Yates says she was walking down her driveway to wait for the bus Tuesday morning.

That's when she says she heard a growling, shriek-like noise.

The young girl turned to see the animal about 10 feet away hidden next to a tree in the woods.

She says she screamed and got away safe, but managed to catch her bus.

She later told her parents about what she had seen. They think it's a cougar.

"It was staring at me and I was, didn't say a sound, and it was walking closer to me, and it roared at me, and then I screamed, and then I runned up the driveway," said Leah Yates.

"She gets a car ride to the bus stop now. It came within six or seven feet from her," said her father Randy Yates.

The family has reported the sighting to the DNR but no one has met with them yet about the incident.

This wouldn't be the first time the family has seen a cougar in the area.
Two years ago, the Yates say one went through their yard.

Neighbors told the Yates they have heard shriek-like noises, sounding like a woman screaming in the evening hours.

They believe there may be a connection.

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