Cougar in Connecticut

“Indeed, if a cougar can walk from South Dakota to Connecticut, a cougar could show up anywhere. Vermont. Tennessee. Queens. (Don’t laugh: in 2008, another cougar from the Black Hills found its way to Chicago, where it was shot and killed by the police.) For years, a relative handful of people throughout the Eastern United States have claimed to see cougars, claims that the authorities have generally taken as seriously as Sasquatch sightings. Now, those sightings can’t be so easily dismissed.” — The Cougar Behind Your Trash Can, by David Baron

UPDATE 31 July 2011: Connecticut Mountain Lion Likely Came From The Black Hills

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4 Replies to “Cougar in Connecticut”

  1. I’d put more bets on it being moved by the forest service. A pack of wolves “amazingly” showed up in the Methow Valley, Washington, a year or so after they finished a suitability survey, without any sort of trail of sightings or even missing pets. (Supposed to be a secret survey, but they forgot to tell the researcher that!)

    Kind of depends on where the nearest area with a decent supply of game is… good cougars ARE very hard to see. (When we lived in Cali, it was in the high desert area that they released “problem” cougars from down south. My folks still only saw one, and that was a quick dart-across-the-road sighting. [Kind of cool, the mom of one of the other girls in my class was in charge of the program, and they sometimes kept them in dog pens at their house. Covered, obviously.])

  2. I wasn’t going to comment on the story itself, but:
    I have educated myself on what to do if I encounter a cougar. Yell. Throw rocks. Fight back.

    Get gutted…. I know ONE person who’s had success with the “yell” tactic. It was a lady who walked into her llama shed to see why they were upset, stepped next to her hay pile and came eye to eye with a cougar. She screamed, it screamed, they spun around and ran. It’s in an area where people have guns, though….

    I love cats, but the notion of our kitten being even just the size of a dog, let alone a cougar, is terrifying!

  3. I didn’t know the forest service had secret programs, but I suppose it’s inevitable in any bureaucracy. They’re probably thrilled with the cover sheets.

    Cougars have been sighted in the area for some time, but the guys from the state always dismissed it – until some were sighted in Chicago. Their theory must be that a farmer is a hysterical hillbilly who knows nothing about wild life, but a golf course manager is a reliable witness who can tell a cougar from a coyote.

    A few earlier stories:

    “It’s in an area where people have guns, though…”

    Yes. One day soon we’re going to have to shoot some cougars, so they don’t forget who’s in charge.

  4. Secroesn’t matter much either way– the only evidence we have is some folks who talked to the researcher, who was more than happy to chatter. Folks usually like to talk about
    themselves. ^.^

    Their theory must be that a farmer is a hysterical hillbilly who knows nothing about wild life, but a golf course manager is a reliable witness who can tell a cougar from a coyote.

    *laughs* Hey, beats the wolf-attack metric– it wasn’t a wolf unless a qualified wildlife specialist saw it happen, and the wolf is assumed to have been ill unless proven otherwise. Reminds me of a “grizzly” at home, though… some campers heard it, a couple more swore they’d seen it, and in the end it was an Angus bull that was caught in some thick brush!

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