City police Sgt. Jesse Garcia told the Star Tribune Norm Mosher's report that he saw a big cat crossing a road in the city's northeast neighborhood Monday morning "appears to be one of the first times that one has come into the city limits."
Mosher, 56, of Elk River said at first he thought it was a dog. But then he noticed its gait and its fat tail. The animal was gone by the time he turned around to get a closer look, but the tracks it left behind appeared more feline than canine, he said.
Garcia said anyone spotting a cougar should call police or the state Department of Natural Resources.
"We want people to be cautious," he said. "Cougars are wild animals, and they can act spontaneously."