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TWRA confirms...it's a cougar (mountain lion)

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posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 11:51 PM
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I found this story really cool, odd, and interesting...

TWRA

News

For years there have been people in the eastern half of the U.S. that have claimed cougar sightings, blamed cougars for kills of their animals, and some even started conspiracy type groups espousing that cougars "being extirpated" from the east was a lie being circulated by the fish and wildlife agencies in nearly all of the eastern states for a myriad of reasons.

Wikipedia

Since the 1970s, privately run groups have formed in nearly every state to compile and investigate records of cougar sightings. Many of these groups are convinced that breeding populations of cougars exist throughout the region. Some believe that a conspiracy to hide information or secretly reintroduce cougars is actively underway by state and federal governments. Some endeavor to promote the recovery of cougars in eastern North America.[2] Large numbers of cougar sightings have been reliably reported throughout the Midwest.[14]


Okay, so I get there could be a conspiracy but, why? What would there be to gain to "secretly" repopulate the eastern half of the U.S?


Wikipedia

The cougar has the largest range of any wild land animal in the Americas. Its range spans 110 degrees of latitude, from northern Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes. Its wide distribution stems from its adaptability to virtually every habitat type: it is found in all forest types, as well as in lowland and mountainous deserts. The cougar prefers regions with dense underbrush, but can live with little vegetation in open areas.[2] Its preferred habitats include precipitous canyons, escarpments, rim rocks, and dense brush.[60]

The cougar was extirpated across much of its eastern North American range (with the exception of Florida) in the two centuries after European colonization, and faced grave threats in the remainder of its territory. Currently, it ranges across most western American states, the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, and the Canadian territory of Yukon. There have been widely debated reports of possible recolonization of eastern North America

Well, here in Tennessee the first confirmed sighting/photo of a cougar has surfaced


Taken from a trail cam on a private residence in Obion County (far northwestern part of the state). Obion County is close to Missouri and Kentucky.
Now, last year, a cougar was killed, in Bourbon County Kentucky (about 350 or so miles away from Obion County TN), by wildlife officials after being discovered by a farmer. Her Rhodesian Ridgeback managed to chase the cougar up a tree!

WKYT News Story

It appears that the cougars may be returning. I find that a little odd. Why would the population be shifting? Is the west running low on deer and elk?
A few weeks ago my S.O., BIL, and myself were driving by a water treatment plant in a populated neighborhood. He says "look over there at that coyote!". Sure enough in the middle of the plant, surrounded by a fence, in the middle of the day was a coyote. I understand sometimes when they have a litter to feed they may hunt in the middle of the day but, how did he/she get in there? He/she was just standing there and appeared to be staring...at what? I don't know. It didn't occur to me to take a picture and I hadn't really thought about it since.
I suppose I am grasping trying to put strange animal behaviors together but..........

short story longer, the folks who have been claiming for years that the cougar was coming back or had never left are looking more and more vindicated!

Cougar Network
edit on 8-10-2015 by TNMockingbird because: clarify link




posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 11:56 PM
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a reply to: TNMockingbird

Very cool!

It could be declining populations of prey in the west. I could see the current drought causing the decline, followed by the shift.

Earlier this year one was spotted in Michigan as well. Something also comes to mind of a cougar being tracked from the western States or Canada across the continent eastward all the way to New England.



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 12:01 AM
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a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

Yes!
I believe it was Vermont or Maine.

I think I read it was killed as well although I could be wrong...

With the east being more populated (?) than the west/middle of the country...just seems...odd.

I hadn't thought about the drought though either.



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 12:02 AM
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There are exderpiated pumas in my neck of the woods.
Coastal Tejas.
To top it off, some of them are black.
I'm just as crazy as the old timers who have seen them since they were kids.



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 12:12 AM
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a reply to: skunkape23

I don't think it would be all that odd for it to be a Florida panther.?

The last time we went to Panama City, we went a different way through some real "back woods".
I think it is possible for them to migrate right along the coast fairly undetected.

If someone in AL. MS., or LA. reported a sighting, people would just think they were crazy old timers. LOL!



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 12:27 AM
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originally posted by: TNMockingbird
a reply to: skunkape23

I don't think it would be all that odd for it to be a Florida panther.?

The last time we went to Panama City, we went a different way through some real "back woods".
I think it is possible for them to migrate right along the coast fairly undetected.

If someone in AL. MS., or LA. reported a sighting, people would just think they were crazy old timers. LOL!

This critter is almost on the same shelf as a Sasquatch.
No one has bagged one.
I'll give my most honest word that they are out there.
Melanistic Pumas.
I've caught good glimpses of them three times.



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 12:41 AM
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a reply to: TNMockingbird

right you are i live in nw flordia near Eglin AFB and i can tell you that there have been sightings of the fl panther on the base and the surrounding woods.
when i was young,11,12,13 we moved here and it was nothing but boonies then. we use to have panthers and bears come on the farm every day. both are making a come back.

did you go down US 331 through Freeport, US 231 through YoungstownSR 77 Lynn Haven or SR79 through Bonifay,/ Ebro. all were boonie ville last time i went to PCB.


edit on 9-10-2015 by hounddoghowlie because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 12:48 AM
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the cougars are filling in the food chain need. they go where there is food and cover. cougars have been in vermont for years and wolves too. the wolf i saw was pure grey from the nose to the tail. it ran across the road in front of me in plain daylight. my wife had a black cougar run across the road in front of her 10 years ago. they have always been here.



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 12:48 AM
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a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

Deer are a cougars main prey...and in the west there may be more whitetails then there were when Lewis and Clark made their voyage.



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 01:23 AM
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a reply to: hounddoghowlie

We took 59 south toward Birmingham as the oldest boy HAD to go by Tuscaloosa! LOL

Then we got on like 331 I think...through all kinds of small towns...we cut back on 10 around defuniak springs and then on to PCB... it was couuuuuntry! For sure!

If I can ever get a trip without the kids, I would like to go to Ft. Walton or Santa Rosa Island...
Everyone tells me to go to Mexico Beach...



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 01:47 AM
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I have seen cougars in smithville. Dry creek area of center hill lake. monteagle mt, and perry county. It's no surprise they are here. It's just hard to prove it without pics. Those areas are spread out pretty far and i imagine they are sprinkled about all in between.

a reply to: TNMockingbird



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 01:57 AM
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a reply to: TNMockingbird

if you took 10 near Defuniak Springs and went east you either hit 79 and came out just north on 98 above PCB. 77, 231 and come out in Panama City. 79 is for sure loaded with small towns all the way down, 77 and 231 are to. if you passed a big gray hound race track (Ebro Greyhound Park) you were on 79.

and there is a lot of couuuuuntry here in fl, should have been here when we first moved here from rural escambia county,(Pensacola FL),to santa rosa county, it only had 38,000 people for a land area of about 1200 square miles in 1974. there was nothing. and we could do just about what ever we liked, now the population is about 170,00. sure miss those days.

where i live is just about one mile from eglin off of hwy 87 south, and is just about 15 miles from the west end of Santa Rosa Island. here's a neat fact Jaws II was made there, at the Holiday Inn on Navarre Bch. we use to skip school and hang out on their beach and when i got older went to the bar there.

Mexico Beach is part of the PCB, Lynn Haven, Panama City Metro area, just southeast of Tindle AFB so if you been to PCB you've already seen it.


edit on 9-10-2015 by hounddoghowlie because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-10-2015 by hounddoghowlie because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 02:15 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

I live close to Monteagle mountain. I have seen several myself.



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 02:40 AM
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The reason it behooves the states and the feds to reject the presence of any animal like that is that you start running into the situation of genetic differences between, for example, Pacific Northwest lions and SE US lions. Those differences are minor at best, requiring extensive genetic testing to prove, but there has been a strong movement within biologists and the EPA to use those differences to classify the animals in one region as "unique" and, therefore, potentially endangered. Having experienced the lunacy that occurred in New Mexico when the Mexican Wolf was reintroduced, I can tell you it is a massive pain in the ass for ranchers, farmers, state fish & game officials, and anyone who plans any sort of development to suddenly have to deal with an endangered predator or any other protected species.

There are some other tangential issues, too. If a rancher loses cattle to a protected predator, they get compensated quite well by the feds, but only if it is verifiable that the loss was due to a protected predator. If the cattle are lost to, say coyotes, the feds and the state will simply tell the rancher "Hey bud, you need to get out there and protect your property." They can't do that if the losses are due to a wolf or big cat that the law says cannot be intentionally killed except if human life is directly threatened.

I HATE lions. We have a very discrete number of them on the Kenai Peninsula here in Alaska, and that doesn't bother me. When I was growing up in New Mexico and when I lived in Arizona and the west side of the Cascades in Washington, I learned to hate them. They are like a giant housecat in many ways, unpredictable, will attack and kill for fun, and most of the time you'll never see them until they drop out of a tree 10 feet away from you. I'll happily deal with a half dozen brown bears on a river lined with salmon than have to walk through a forest with a cat.



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 07:32 AM
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a reply to: TNMockingbird

Hardly is a conspiracy to introduce cougars. The simple fact is that authorities don't like to admit or even question their own standards. Back in 1981 my wife toddler and I were camping in the upper camp ground of the original Big Bend National Park in Texas. Standing outside of our tent looking as the stars after wife and daughter had retired, I saw a large cat, obviously a cougar, run down the road. I told a ranger the next day and was rebuffed as the park didn't have any cougars. Fine, officials, but I know what I saw. A few years later a young boy trailing his family on a trail in the park was attacked and bitten by a cougar. That broke the spell of no cougars in the park. Since then game cameras have recorded cougars many places elsewhere.

Where I came from and grew up at in central Illinois, we originally had about typical small game. Today in that exact same area, the small birds are almost gone but in their place are coyotes, turkeys, deer wild hogs. That increase in game animals due to several reasons and a reduction in hunting is the reason why cougars, as with the other animals I've mentioned, have spread their territories.

Like the ubiquitous urban raccoon and possums cougars AND bears are finding an easy living closer to humans.



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 07:51 AM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

Howdy neighbor!

I can bet there's cougar around the lake, Edgar Evins, and Pea Ridge WMA...

I've been up in Catoosa and heard "stories" although no photos...

It has been hard to convince people for those folks that are SURE they saw/heard cougars.



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 08:12 AM
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The upper peninsula of Michigan does have Cougars and people say they have seen them in the lower peninsula. The DNR runs a little behind like any government agency, they finally just admitted we have wolves in the lower peninsula even though people have been seeing them for years. I spend a lot of time in the fall and winter hunting, last year I spotted 2 coyotes but didn't shoot them, it's legal to kill them and even encouraged. I was told I could get $60 per pelt. I figured if I'm not going to eat it I didn't want to kill it. My friends berated me because the coyotes are such a nuisance animal. I'd love to see a cougar as long as he's heading away from me.



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 08:17 AM
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This explains a lot of the missing 411 cases at least to me. Cougars can kill you quickly quitly and drag your 200+lbs corpse straight up a pine tree were your body will never ever be found. As you decompose you fall down in little prices and are carted off by the smaller animals.

Your could also be found straight up a rock face or in areas unaccesable to humans given conditons and time frames.

Why they leave the bodies intact some times is kinda a mystery but I've had cats over the years and they kill for fun all the time. I have come home to birds and shrews literally piled up on the porch. Totally intact like little trophies for me to see.






a reply to: TNMockingbird



posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 08:19 AM
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a reply to: hounddoghowlie

Interesting!

Ahhhh...about Mexico...I kind of figured my friends were jokingly trying to get me to a nude beach or some such!




posted on Oct, 9 2015 @ 08:29 AM
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a reply to: TNMockingbird

Well that's a bummer. I think I remember hearing that it was killed too. I'll do some digging on that one.

Here is some info on the recent Michigan sighting.


The sighting and footage are rare as Michigan doesn't have an established cougar population, DNR officials say. As of Thursday there have been 28 confirmed cougar sightings in the Upper Peninsula since 2008...

The 60-second clip posted to YouTube Thursday shows the cougar repeatedly returning to the site to eat a deer. The video was provided by hunters from Remus who discovered the deer kill site. The hunters set up a trail cam which captured the footage on Dec. 10, 2014 and Dec. 11, 2014.

The state doesn't have an established cougar population, but the animal does travel through the Upper Peninsula while searching for a place to set up its territory. Most are juvenile male cougars traveling from the Dakotas, Munson Badini said.


Detroit News - Feb. 19, 2015

Here is the VIDEO, which I won't post directly as some may find it graphic.

a reply to: seagull

Very cool to know! I know that the population has been declining in Michigan with the last couple rough winters. A lot of the tagged deer have wound up in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio. I was thinking with the massive drought out that way it would dry up their food source, so they migrate, which in turn makes the cougars follow them.

a reply to: chefc14

Hooray! Another Michigander. I swear we're taking this board over sometimes.


I think you made the right call in not going for the bounty. It's the same reason I'm glad the vote on the wolf hunt didn't pass last fall.




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