Skip to main content
Publish date:

Minnesota family fears cougar is lurking on their property

The family says large paw prints are all over their property.

A farming family that lives about 30 miles west of the Twin Cities metro area fears that a cougar is lurking around their property. 

Debbie Wurm, who lives on a farm about a mile and a half south of Maple Lake, says they've seen what they believe is a cougar on occasion for a few years now, but of late the animal has been leaving behind tracks throughout their property. 

"We've seen him," Wurm told BMTN. "The dogs go nuts when it comes around." 

One of her dogs recently turned up with injuries that required a trip to a veterinary emergency room, but she's not certain her lab was attacked by cougar. 

"My dog got attacked, I'm not sure what from. And my son got chased by an animal the size of a dog or bigger," she said. 

Wurm said her son was working outside at 4:45 a.m. recently when he spotted what he thought was one of their dogs. When he called its name the dog came running from behind him, and the animal he thought was his friendly pet darted towards him. He ran for safety and took cover in a shed. 

"He was scared to death," Wurm said. 

In an effort to stay as safe as possible, Wurm says she now has to lock her four dogs inside at night and her kids aren't allowed to play outside after dark. She also has four horses on the property she's worried about. 

"Every time we get up to go to work or anything we look up in the trees. You can't even live in peace."  

BMTN reached out to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources about the incident but did not hear back by the time this story was published. 

Wurm, however, said her family knows DNR employees and that they've contacted one employee who likened the tracks to those of a cougar. 

There have been multiple cougar reports not far from the Twin Cities in recent months, including one in Chaska in which the local police were on the lookout. Another in Edina was more likely to have been a bobcat, police said

Meanwhile, the hunt for a cougar believed to have killed a 55-year-old woman has begun in Oregon. According to The Oregonian, it's the first known fatal attack by a wild cougar in Oregon. 

Next Up

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

Talbot leads Wild to 7th straight victory

The Wild opened a four-game road trip with a win in Edmonton.

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers out 6-8 weeks with injury

The Hopkins native was hurt during Sunday's matchup with Notre Dame.

Anthony Barr

Vikings' defense could get reinforcements against Steelers

Several starters could return for a critical Thursday night matchup.

Mercer ATV accident fundraiser

High schooler in coma, fighting for his life after ATV crash

Family members found the teen on the ground and unresponsive.

Nolan Sprengeler - muskie record - nov 2021

Angler officially breaks 64-year-old state muskie record

The muskellunge he caught on Nov. 22 weighed a whopping 55 pounds, 14 ounces.

coronavirus, ICU, covid-19 hospital, doctor

4th teen COVID-19 death reported in MN is the 2nd in as many weeks

All four teenage COVID-19 deaths in the state have been reported in the past two months.

Anil Menon

Minnesota native named to NASA's new astronaut class

When he's done training, he could be sent to the space station or the moon.

broadway pizza interior facebook

Gallery: Original Broadway Pizza auctioning off everything

Get your hands on some classic Broadway signage, train-themed decor and more.

art shanty projects

Art Shanty Projects to return to Lake Harriet this winter

The festival has made some creative changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

After 'extraordinary' revenue growth, MN projects $7.7B surplus

But finance officials note there is still "significant risk" due to economic uncertainty.


Paw print found in park where woman reported seeing a cougar

But it probably wasn't a paw print of a cougar, police say.

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 10.48.56 AM

There might be a cougar wandering around Elk River

Police are warning residents to stay alert at all times.

cougar, puma, lynx

Dodge Center on alert after resident spots cougar from their property

People are being advised to keep an eye on kids and pets.

Malik Beasley

Charges: Timberwolves' Beasley pointed assault rifle at family on a home tour

The family was on the Parade of Homes tour when Beasley allegedly pointed the gun at them, telling them to get off his property.

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 3.19.13 PM

Black bear shot and killed in North St. Paul

Authorities say it posed a threat to public safety.

142-pound cougar hit by car in northern Minnesota

The photos are being shared like crazy.

cougar, puma, lynx

Residents in Bloomington report possible cougar sightings

Reports came out of the 102nd and Chicago area.