There is a weir structure on the #17 pond at Leslie Park. This allows us to slightly change the level of the pond depending on the time of year. The discharge pipe comes out near the walking bridge that goes from #17 green to #18 tee. This pipe is 24 inches in diameter. While looking around 17 green the other day, I noticed that the discharge pipe was making more noise than usual. I checked the weir and, to my surprise, found a large snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) stuck between the boards and the reinforcement bar. Because the turtle was basically submerged, I feared it was dead and wondered how to remove it from the weir. Grabbing the bar used to change the board level, I began to lever the turtle out of it's position. I was very surprised when the fierce jaws suddenly grabbed the tool forcefully.
I was able to get the creature unstuck and he made his way to the outlet.
Once again, the outlet pipe is 24 inches around. Hours later, he had made his way back into the pond.
There have been numerous reports of a cougar in the vicinity of Leslie Park Golf Course. Here is an article from AnnArbor.com explaining this phenomenon.
I spend a lot of time on the golf course and have seen many animals and wildlife. I have seen hawks, deer, turkeys, eagles, ducks and geese, among others. In my opinion, the animal that has been seen is a coyote. I have seen brown and tan colored coyotes many times, especially near hole #9, which is next to Leslie Woods.
I do not totally discount the idea that a cougar may be on the loose, but I think it is more likely this large canine. Whichever the case, it is very elusive and probably will hide at the first sight of human activity, but please be careful when walking any of the nature areas and parks in Northern Ann Arbor.