Lynx and cougars   Lee E. Frelich
  Jan 24, 2006 05:54 PST 


We also have a lot of native lions (so-called mountain lions) and lynx in
northern MN.   Lynx have made a big comeback in northern MN in recent

Re: lions, tigers, lynx
  Jan 24, 2006 06:09 PST 

We have "Bob"-cats here in Pa. can't say I ever saw one, but you can hear them every once in a while. A very strange noise they make.

Also came face to face with a mountain lion in Red Lion Pa. A guy there has one in a pen that was rescued from NJ? I don't know how he got it, but it is a beautiful animal.

The Henry Foundation in Gladwyne Pa has sightings and tracks of a Mountain Lion on their property, but the government folks don't believe them.

Sightings and tracks have been found in New Castle De in the marshlands of a Mountain Lion also.

I wish they were still in the woods, it would cut down on the deer problems!

RE: lions, tigers, lynx   Robert Leverett
  Jan 24, 2006 07:46 PST 


   Mountain lion populations in the eastern mountain states is the big
question at the levels of federal, state, and local groups.
Massachusetts has sightings, but there is no acknowledging of a breeding

Re: lions, tigers, lynx
  Jan 24, 2006 08:20 PST 

We are in the same situation in WV. There have been no confirmed sightings
in decades but people keep seeing them. I don't think the debate will be
over here until a cougar finally gets killed on the interstate.

RE: lions, tigers, lynx   Robert Leverett
  Jan 24, 2006 09:04 PST 


   I've been skeptical about cat reports in Massachusette. I'm always on
the lookout for cougar tracks, but so far I've not come across any,
although a reliable state naturalist did report tracks in Beartown State
Forest a couple of seasons ago. If the cougar would just eat deer, it
would be most welcome to me. Unfortunately, cougars will hunt domestic
animals when other prey is unavailable. I guess a cat's gotta hunt what
a cat's gotta hunt and there in lies the challenge to its spread

   So far people here in Massachusetts have adapted well to the growing
population of black bears. We have a fairly large population of bears
now and people regularly see them. Back in the summer, Monica and I came
across one in the Fitzgerald Lake parking lot and Monica has seen them
in the woods behind her house on several occasions. But acceptance of
cougars is a whole different story.

   A large male cougar can way 200 lbs and occasionally more. That's a
lot of cat.

Eastern Cougars   Anthony Kelly
  Jan 24, 2006 09:07 PST 


Lions and tigers and lynx -- oh my! (Somebody had to say it.)

It seems there's a lot of interest in cats among ENTS. Perhaps an Eastern
Native Cat Society is in order. Of course such organizations already exist.
For those of you interested in mountain lions there's The Cougar Network.
They keep track of confirmed eastern cougar sightings and the expansion of
cougar populatons into their former eastern habitats. Their website is at:

The big question about sightings, aside from authenticity, of course,is are
the cats escapees like the Siberian tigers that Lee mentions. There's info
on their website dealing with that.

Another cougar group is The Eastern Cougar Foundation. Their mission is more
controversial: "to facilitate the recovery of cougars in as much of the East
as possible." They are at:

Another site with a lot of information is that of the Cooper's Rock Mountain
Lion Sanctuary located near Morgantown, West Virginia.

Anthony Kelly
Re: lions, tigers, lynx   Neil Pederson
  Jan 24, 2006 09:45 PST 

Me, too, esp. about the ADKs. But, I believe there is a confirmation of one
in VT. Sue Morse, of Keeping Track, would know. I've also met someone
reputable who believes they are elsewhere in the NE. This person is a very
sober person. Their comment opened my mind a bit more.

While driving through Iowa last year I listened to a call in show on
mountain lions. Their pop in Iowa is increasing and they are coming from the
Dakotas. It shouldn't take them too long to get here [Kentucky/lower
midwest] and then further east. It seems like if they got a taste of the
plentiful, white-tail, esp. in PA, mountain lions would realize they taste
like chicken.

More on mountain lions   Robert Leverett
  Jan 24, 2006 10:09 PST 


   Ah yes, cougars finding a resemblance between the taste of deer and
the ubiquitous chicken and they might notice a resemblance of Fido to

   I remember the cry of mountain lions on camping trips in the Bighorn
Mountains of north central Wyoming. You could never mistake that cry.
There are also plenty of lions in the Wasatch Front just east of where
my daughter lives.

   Environmentalists of the 70s, 80s, and into the 90s were inclined to
believe that cougars never attack people, but occasional attacks by big
cats on humans from British Columbia down into California made staunch
believers back off of that belief and accept that on occasion lions will
attack joggers, bikers, etc. Once a big cat locks onto you as prey,
breaking that lock is next to impossible. They become super focused. The
trick is to keep them from seeing you as prey.

   Of course, the danger of being dispatched by a hungry mountain lion
is much, much smaller than getting struck by lightning, swept away by a
flood, killed by a domestic dog, or killed by a fellow human. All things
are relative.    

   BTW, one of my very good friends Christine Bolgiano from Fulks Run,
VA is a mountain lion researcher.

RE: lions, tigers, lynx
  Jan 24, 2006 11:12 PST 

While numerous confirmed reports of Cougar/Puma/Mountain Lions/Catamounts out
here in the west, they are infrequently seen. As a frequenter of wildernesses
in the West for forty or more years, and our nation's national forests for
about the same period, I have yet to look eye-to-eye with one. I have seen
their sign, and their recent kills, with photos at hand to document their
recent presence.
In Flagstaff, there have been several recent too-close encounters, where folks
(generally with dogs) have left the wildland-urban interface and had to make
fright/flight kinds of decisions...usually the cat will sustain one or two
such sightings. But if more than that, they are either transported or put
-Alaska Don
(I've seen wolves and other 'charismatic mega-fauna', but no cats here yet)
RE: lions, tigers, lynx   Robert Leverett
  Jan 24, 2006 11:23 PST 


I've never looked eye to eye with a mountain lion, but I've looked eye
to tail - my eye and the cat's tail - as it bounded off. As I think of
it, I'm thankful that it was my eye and the cat's tail. Don't want to
think of the other way around.

RE: lions, tigers, lynx   Ernie Ostuno
  Jan 26, 2006 00:06 PST 

Oh this is cool, I get a chance to tell my mountain lion story again:
Back in the summer of 1987 I was out on the west coast, stationed at
Fort Ord, CA. My hobby was astronomy and I would take my telescope up to
a nice dark sky site at Bottcher's Gap Campground, in the coastal
mountains south of Carmel and north of Big Sur. About 2 in the morning,
while all the other campers were sleeping, I was kneeling down staring
through my telescope at a faint galaxy, when I heard a low growl. It was
a distinctive sound and it was CLOSE, and it immediately sent shivers
through me. I looked up to see the outline of a cougar sitting about 20
feet away. I took the red filter off the flashlight in my hand (the red
filter was to preserve night vision) and shined it at the cat. I'll
never forget how its eyes reflected the light back to me, like two
penlights. It growled again. I stood up, readying myself for an attack.
But after a few seconds, the cat got up and slowly trotted off into the
Creosote bushes. It took a while for the "heart in the throat" sensation
to recede. Then I went back to what I was doing without any further
interruptions. The next day I told the park ranger and he didn't believe
me, saying that cougars don't come down to such low elevations. I told
him that this one was apparently lost. However, I later read that there
had been at least two attacks that summer, which were blamed on the
drought that was occurring which forces the cats to come down to pursue
prey at lower elevations. Both attacks were on children. My theory is
that the cat was sizing me up for an attack while I was kneeling down
and when I stood up he decided I was too big to take a run at.

And here's a tree reference, too: further down the mountain from the
spot I saw the cougar is a nice stand of redwoods. One time I got lost
hiking in there with friend and it got pitch dark before we could find
our way out. Fortunately the cougars were absent from that area.

And finally a bit of animal trivia: I read in the latest Defenders of
Wildlife Magazine that there are documented cases of wolverines killing
moose. Pound for pound, those wolverines are about as tough a critter as
there is. Which may explain why the species of cougar known as "Nittany
Lions" have such trouble devouring them. ;)