A Cherokee man reported a close encounter with a mountain lion to the Cherokee County Conservation Board last week.
John Comstock, the CEO of Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital, saw the cat on a gravel road near the Highway 3 bypass north of Larrabee early on the morning of September 5.
The mountain lion emerged from a cornfield near the Cedar Cemetery, about 20 yards in front of Comstock's vehicle.
"It came out of the cornfield to the west at about a 45-degree angle to the northeast, jumped the fence with incredible ease, and went into another cornfield," Comstock said. "It was huge... it had to be seven feet long as it stretched out running. I can tell you this, it was no dog or coyote. It was a mountain lion."
No tracks could be found by officials. A grader had erased any tracks on the gravel. Three sightings were reported in 2003 in Cherokee County in the same area by school teachers and a jogger, and tracks have been verified in the old ski hill area.