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Mountain lion: Several more unconfirmed Greene County sightings reported

Monday, May 10, 2010

(Photo)
This photograph of a mountain lion was caught on an infrared motion-activated camera during the early morning hours of May 1 in a Highland Township wooded area not far from County Road 450E in Greene County. DNR officials say it's confirmed as a mountain lion, and they are investigating the sighting.
(Photo Courtesy of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources)
Indiana State Department of Natural Resources wildlife specialists and State Conservation Officers continue to receive unconfirmed reports of a mountain lion roaming in a rural area of Greene County -- about five to six miles northeast of Bloomfield in Highland Township.

"There have been at least three or four (reports) since Friday," said Mike Gregg, a conservation officer from the DNR Division of Law Enforcement, told the Greene County Daily World on Monday.

A confirmed image of a mountain lion was caught on an infrared motion-activated camera during the early morning hours of May 1 in a wooded area not far from County Road 450E, according to Scott Johnson, DNR's non-game mammal biologist and member of the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife's team that assists in reviewing reports having credible evidence.

The photo and a news report was issued by DNR on Friday.

Johnson made the determination from photographs take in the area after a preliminary investigation found evidence consistent with mountain lion behavior, including an eviscerated deer carcass buried under a pile of leaves.

Johnson says he also got a report of another sighting over the weekend, but has not had a chance to look into it.

A couple of mushroom hunters walked up on the mountain lion devouring a deer carcass April 27 and later notified Greg Swanson, a conservation officer from the DNR Division of Law Enforcement, who then contact DNR officials.

"They (the mushroom hunters) heard this squalling sound and it was a deer. When they went up to see what was going on, this mountain lion was on it," Gregg stated. "Mountain lions, whenever they kill something like a deer, they actually cover it with leaves and stuff. They call it a cache."

Cameras were set on April 30, and multiple images of a mountain lion were captured at approximately 2:30 a.m. on May 1.

Conservation officers helped Johnson set the trail cameras and have been informing local residents of the mountain lion's presence.

"This is the first time we've been able to confirm it," Gregg said. "We've had reports where there was a couple of them together and they don't generally travel that way ... most of the time it's really hard to tell what the person saw, if it was late at night."

Gregg said there was a reported sighting on May 2 closer to Bloomfield, not far from State Road 157.

"This lady said it (the mountain lion) jumped right out in front of her in the road. It was in flight by the time she saw it. It could have been headed toward the river bottoms. It's hard to say where this thing is going to end up or where it actually stays most of the time," Gregg stressed.

Mountain lions are known by many names, including cougar, puma, catamount and panther.

Historically, mountain lions lived in most of the eastern United States, including Indiana.

Different published reports cite the last documented case of a wild mountain lion in Indiana as somewhere between 1850 and 1865.

Gregg said male mountain lions vary in size with a male weighing up to 150 pounds and females about 90 pounds. The males have a range of 150 miles while a female generally won't travel more than 60 miles.

"It's going to be anywhere in the county potentially or in other counties around us," Gregg said. "It may come from another county, so this may not be where it hangs out all of the time, it's hard to say."

The conservation officer says mountain lions generally don't stalk their prey and rarely harm livestock.

"They don't like to just walk up on an animal. They'll actually find heavy deer trails and just lay and wait for a deer to walk by and pounce on it," Gregg explained. "That's what it appears this one is doing."

Without additional evidence, Johnson and Gregg both said it's impossible to say if the mountain lion photographed in Greene County is wild or is a formerly captive cat. They also can't determine from the photo if the animal is male or female.

"We're still trying to work on its origin," Johnson said. "I know the law enforcement folks have got a few leads they are trying to work on."

Johnson said a female mountain lion escaped from the Exotic Feline Center near Center Point in Clay County, but there is no determination of whether there is a link with the local incident.

He also said there have been confirmed reports of mountain lions in Greene, Clay, Monroe and Vigo counties for a number of years.

The DNR occasionally receives reports of mountain lion sightings around the state, but typically the evidence has turned out to be something other than a mountain lion, has been inconclusive, or has proved to be part of an Internet hoax.

Since a new DNR policy's inception March 1, 19 mountain lion sightings have been reported.

However, the report in Greene County is the only one confirmed to be a mountain lion.

Prior to implementing the policy, a DNR biologist investigated and confirmed in late 2009 a mountain lion in Clay County based on evidence submitted by a hunter who had taken photographs from an elevated hunting stand. Another biologist investigated a report near Idaville in White County in December, but evidence was inconclusive.

Mountain lions are a protected species in Indiana, but state law allows a resident landowner or tenant to kill a mountain lion while it is causing damage to property owned or leased by the landowner/tenant. If the landowner/tenant wishes to have someone else take the mountain lion, that person is required to secure a permit from the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.


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I have seen bobcats several times over the years. Never seen a mountain lion. I am taking a light with me now out in the woods hunting.

-- Posted by BadSpellerrr on Mon, May 10, 2010, at 9:39 PM

i really wish that the address where this cat was written on here.. I really hate for people to go out and hunt this beautiful creature.. It would be a beautiful thing for them to be around here.. Not only to keep the population down for deer but they are vital part of the ecosystem too you know.. But no some redneck with a gun is going to go and hunt it like a prize.

-- Posted by dkl on Mon, May 10, 2010, at 10:38 PM

Ok here the real story. My cousin heard a deer in distress and went to see what was going on. When he got to the top of the hill, he seen the cat had the deer by the throat. He backed off when he seen this and snapped a picture on his camara phone. He then callled me i was back in the woods mushroom hunting with my buddy. We then went to the camp to see what was going on thats when he told us what he seen. So we went back to the area. Witch is less than a 100 yards from our camp the cat had move the deer and seen us. We were only about 30 yards away it freaked us out. I then called the DNR. They said they would not come out unless we had proof. My cousin had to go to work so the DNR did not see the photo. 2 days later i returned to the sight and found the cat had moved the deer again and covered it with dirt and leaves. Normally the coyotes would have tore this up. I called the DNR again and told them they really need to see this. Theyt showed up an hour later i took them to the sight and the DNR officer said this might be the real thing and contacted the bioloigest. So thats how all this took place with pictures and all. I dont think this cat will hang around at least i hope.

-- Posted by brett1 on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 7:59 AM

I have 2 different friends of mine who live in the same housing addition in Spencer and have both seen what they call is a "black panther". One friend of mine said she saw it climbing out of a tree in her back woods. This was about 6 years ago I think she said. Not long after, her sister-in-law who lives near by also saw this same animal. I don't mind that they are around. I think it is new to us so it is scary but if we don't bother them, I doubt they will bother us.

-- Posted by BES23 on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 10:24 AM

why get rid of an absolutely beautiful animal such as this!? they don't typically go into towns that are populated. they were here long before we were, and i think it's a joy to have such a rarity in our state actually being so close to home. unless the children are playing deep into the woods unsupervised, which isn't recommended anyway, then i don't think it's going to be a problem.

-- Posted by oddities on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 12:18 PM

Ace~

Oh, please. So we're supposed to never step foot in the woods again? How silly.

-- Posted by PinkMarie on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 1:06 PM

It is only natural that folks living in the vicinity might be concerned about kids, grand-kids, and pets near the wooded area where a mountain lion lurks.

I saw a documentary filmed outside Indiana where one of these big cats knocked a bicyclist on a trail off her bike, and locked its jaws on her neck and face. If not for a quick-thinking friend who threw rocks at the cat, cauing it to run, the lady would have been dead. She had major facial surgery, scarring to half her face, but still rides her bike there.

However, we're led to believe they simply won't attack here.

What I find interesting is that despite several eye witness sightings over the years, we only have age-old documentation from the 1800's. Why the all-out state denial of big cats still existing here?

-- Posted by LITERATI on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 1:27 PM

@ PinkMarie

You really think that cat is the only thing in the woods around here that could kill you or cause you injury?

-- Posted by just sayin'... on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 2:39 PM

As a mountain biker and a deep woods hiker/backpacker I am more concerned about the human preditor.

-- Posted by Shad Cox on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 3:05 PM

Just sayin'.....I think you are replying to the wrong person.

Yes, I'm quite aware that there are other animals in the woods that could cause harm. I was replying to Ace's comment that kids should be kept out of the woods.

This animal is in an *entirely* different league than other wild creatures in this area. Like Literati said, cougars can take down a grown adult, not to mention little kids. There are lots of non fatal attacks and near misses like Literati mentioned above. Go to this link for more info:

http://www.cougarinfo.org/attacks2.htm

-- Posted by PinkMarie on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 3:09 PM

Funny funny.... If you dont mess with lions there probably not going to bother you. You people act like its roaming free around the city park just looking for meals. Im pretty sure that lions have been around for years and years and people who live near them do just fine. What about all the mosquitos and spider bites that are fatal here. Thats much more of an issue!

-- Posted by BadSpellerrr on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 3:31 PM

@ PinkMarie

No, I am not replying to the wrong person. In response to AceMerrill, you said

"Ace~

Oh, please. So we're supposed to never step foot in the woods again? How silly."

My position is that there are other animals in the surrounding woods of Greene County that can not only harm you, but kill you. Just because we don't have night pictures of them to view doesn't mean they aren't there. We are a very rural wooded county, with pockets of population. I think it is foolhardy to imagine that a walk in the woods has been sanitized for our safety, like so many other things in our culture have been.

I am in agreement with Ace in that if a person doesn't want to have to worry their children being attacked by a cougar then they should stay out of the deep woods unsupervised.

I'm also in agreement with Shad. Our county children are far more at risk from child molesters than they are from that cat.

-- Posted by just sayin'... on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 3:35 PM

Just Sayin'....

Cougars are way more dangerous than any of the other animals we have in our woods. Please enlighten me here. What other animals in our area are as dangerous? Coyotes? Bobcats? Deer? It would be easier to fend those off than a 100 or 200 lb mountain lion who goes for your throat.

-- Posted by PinkMarie on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 3:49 PM

CAT FIGHT!

-- Posted by switzie on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 4:40 PM

Just leave it alone, People have lived for years with these animals right in their back yards. Washington, Montana, exc....Do we see them all running scared? This cat isnt anymore dnagerous to any of us then ur neighbors dog that gets loose an attacks. Go to the libaray get a book an get educated on them,They are actuatly beautiful animals..

-- Posted by magsmom on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 7:14 PM

" Men! The only aniamal in the world to fear "

-- Posted by aniamal lover on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 8:48 PM

Statistically speaking, a deer is MUCH more likely to kill you by jumping out in front of your car, causing you to swerve, or even jumping right through your windshield and impaling you.

As far as animals go, mountain lions are some of the safest to be around! Stinging insects, household pets, livestock, deer, and snakes ALL account for more deaths in the U.S. than mountain lions BY FAR. In fact, you're more like to be killed by a shark than a mountain lion!

If you really want to take steps to save lives in our county, put down the gun and the catnip, and do one of these things; they are all statistically proven to save more lives than killing our feline friend:

1) Drive a little bit slower, and take fewer trips.

2) Shun the fries at fast food restaurants and eat a salad instead.

3) See your doctor for a checkup this summer.

4) Talk a short walk every night.

5) Make sure the fence around your pool is structurally sound and your gates lock and are childproof. Especially important for children.

6) Lock up your guns. At the very least, lock up the ammunition.

7) Stay out of lightning storms.

8) Don't drink alcohol and then walk or drive home. Get a ride from a sober driver.

9) Install a fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector in your home.

10) Practice shark-fighting techniques.

10)

-- Posted by Billy the Poet on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 9:27 PM

Ace, I'm with ya 100%. Keep the kids out of the deep woods unless they know what they're dealing with.

I think these cats would have to be starving to come after us, and our pets.

The deep woods is their home. People should just know that & respect it.

-- Posted by Blueyedame on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 9:51 PM

LOL, Poet

-- Posted by Blueyedame on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 10:25 PM

@ PinkMarie

Frankly, I have no idea what type of animals may live in the surrounding woods. You are determined that you are correct, so I'll just agree that you are totally right, and I am wrong, and have no idea what I am talking about.

But if you got your way, and someone went out into the woods and hauled back a cougar carcass for the sake of the children, how are you going to know that the one getting drug out dead is the same one in the picture? Are you positive that there is only one out there? If not, what do you propose we do then? Torch the woods to drive out anything that might hurt/kill us so that we can kill it?

*********

@ Blueyedame...

Once again, the lady of reason speaks. Good to see you around these cougar infested parts. ;)

-- Posted by just sayin'... on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 10:41 PM

There have been Mountain Lions around here for years especially around the White River.

-- Posted by Hannibal on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 10:44 PM

You guys are crazy. 1st i am one of them redneck hunters and i wouldnt kill cat. I dont hunt for trophies ya trophies are nise to have. But id rather feed my family and the family i donate a deer to every year. You donated a deer will feed a family 300 meals. 2nd Do we kill the people who hurt people no. If your deep in the woods you should know what to do. Yes a bobcat is as dangerous as a cogur and a coperhead snake is more dangerous tous then this big cat. Sounds to me that people always want to kill what they dont know. I can see how peop;e worrie about there kids and grand kids being in the woods. But if they shouldnt be in the woods if they dont know how to get away from a predtor. If you thank this cat is more dangerous the a poisioness snake do ur home work and see how fast you need anti venum. Why kill somthing that was he before you just cause your not sure of it. Hey Ace you are!!!!!!!!!!!! Mosst people dont like what they know. Also a full grown male mountain lion only ways 90 to 150lbs and a femal 60 to may be 120. The people next door to me have a dog that is 140lbs.

-- Posted by bookie102 on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 10:57 PM

Just sayin'........

Whatever dude.

I actually NEVER said to kill it. Other people have. You replied to me and I replied right back to you. Don't tell me "if I got my way" when you have no freaking clue what my way is! I am just trying to caution people that a cougar is nothing to take lightly.

-- Posted by PinkMarie on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 11:15 PM

Also, don't be so sure that the "deep" woods are their home! Just be cautious people!! My husband heard what is likely this large cat scream right here in Calvertville......not exactly "deep" woods!

-- Posted by PinkMarie on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 11:21 PM

@ PinkMarie

You are right, I stand corrected. You never said to kill it. You want it trapped and taken to a rescue center, according to your post in the confirmed sighting story.

Again, if you trap one, how will you know it's the one in the story? They don't carry ID.

Because there are people who advocate leaving things as they are does not mean that they are taking cougars lightly. I'm pretty sure that we all know they are dangerous and can kill you.

-- Posted by just sayin'... on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 8:49 AM

To LA : PLEASE !!!! I cant believe you would point out a mis-spelled word. YOU have got to be kidding RIGHT ? I never came into this conversation saying I was perfect !!! Who gives a care if I mis- spelled something ? Of all things for you to be concerned about. This is about the concern of a Mountian Lion , Cougar or whatever big Cat there might be out there. Its NOT about picking out a mis-spelled word. This isn't a spelling B or some contest. Its about the concern that people like myself have about This beautiful CAT and it's future. Its about whats best for this Cat and best for the saftey of our animals and families. Please spend your time on trying to help find a solution to the concern that SOME of us have about this Beautiful animal. And one last thing you DONT have to spell something RIGHT in order to LOVE it or have a PASSION for it :-) Just maybe I have a reason to spell my password like I do ? With all do respect I think that is my business and not yours :-)

-- Posted by aniamal lover on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 9:18 AM

i grew up in new mexico and there are plenty of big cats there and u seldom seen them and i cant remember anyone gettind attacked by a lion there . the thing is ppl are just have to be aware that there is a big cat around and be careful !!!!! but u gota better chance of getting bit by a stray dog than this cat

-- Posted by biggun on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 10:24 AM

So why should it be trapped and taken to a rescue. They were he before us. So this is there land just as much as ours and it could die in the trapping process. If some on dont know a big cat is dangerous they dont need to be in the woods. There are more agreesive wildlife in Indiana besides this cat. Do you know some of the snake we got are poisoness snake we have will chase you. For example take the copper heads we have here they will come at you they are very agressive. Do we trap them and put themin rescue were they dont belong. So why do that to this cat. Why should we take somthing out of nature and put it in a cage.Just cause we are scared of it.If us people would stop taking indangered animals out of the wild and wanting them killed. We would be use to them. Its not like this cats is haning in the park. Just cause you here a scream dont mean its a big cat. There bobcat all over Indiana. And your average hous pet could kill some one before this cat does.

-- Posted by bookie102 on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 10:44 AM

here in daviess co we have seen cougar with a little one in behind it. There a person who got a video of the one in June of 2009. It is very easy to tell what it is. he said it got 60 yards from his house.

-- Posted by jatdaviess on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 2:01 PM

Many of you who have pets they let out in the yards that live in the country risk their lives by not watching them too. That goes for kids too. a mountain lion, panther, or bob cat will attack a human if they are hungry enough just pray there are lenty of wild animals that they can eat and don't come near country homes! I seen a dog once after it was attacked by something in Hymera years ago. Thank God it wasn't a kid! That would be a good reason they should be captured...It only takes once. And LX Bowhunter, ya might wanna take a gun too or are you planning on beating it to death with a flashlight if you see it. Better yet maybe it has brain disorders and you can flash the light fast enough it will have siezers....good luck.

I think they should be catch it and transported to a differnt envoromnent. Like 500 miles away...

-- Posted by oldoak on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 4:26 PM

LX Bow hunter there are only two kids of poison siders normally found in Indiana. The tunnel spider which is in fields mostly and black widow spieder. That is according to the poision control dept.. There are many brown recluse but that disfigure flesh but are not considered a fatal biting spider. If only the spiders and poision bugs would bite the lion we have the whole problem solved...

-- Posted by oldoak on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 4:32 PM

I believe now I agree with you Ivybeeze1960. It might be impossible to capture it here in Indiana. I am guessing that even D&R are not equipted with dart guns, tazer, ect. yo capture a cougar or large animal. There are millions of cougars ect. all over the world, and they are not extremely endangered species...Are authorities gonna wait till it accidently hungerly wonders upon a child before doing somthing. In 1930 a group of (real) brave men would have gotten together to hunt it down and kill it...In the early 1800's It states in a Worthington historical book there were bears in the Worthington area...There were few surrounding towns back then. It worries me that a person could be attacked by one of those creatures.

-- Posted by oldoak on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 4:44 PM

If this cat hasn't migrated, and has escaped, or been turned loose, then wouldn't it have lost its fear of humans, at least more so then one that has grown up in the wild? I keep hearing something about monitoring children in the deep woods. How much deep woods is there? This isn't Montana, we don't have that kind of wilderness here. If this cat is feeding on deer, there is deer in my yard daily....hmmm

-- Posted by tbirdfan on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 6:30 PM

You guys are crazy. That cat could of been here its hole life. I grow up close to there and there is some reel deep country here in Indiana but i guesse. You guys that say there ant that much deep country here in Indiana. There is i can take you in to the woods and show you how deep the woods are. I havnt herd any 1 on here give any good reason why trapp this cat or kill it. Yes in the 1930s the only reason some one kill the cogur for is if it gave them a good reason. I want to who has it hurt cause you wouldnt of kvown it was there if DNR wouldnt of told u. So if that cats 2 years or old just thank how much longer it been around with out you knowing. We can let people that hurt our kids live in our comuinties every day to we fight for them tobe killed to we let these weirdos stay. So ask your self this. Should we get rid of all the indandered animals or the ones that can harm us. Cause then we would wipe out all of nature they way you want this cat gone. Thank if some one is scared of you should we kill you or have you moved 500 miles way. Dont thank youll see it that away. These cats have a territory of 150 miles so whos to say its camping out in ur county. Every one needs to rember nature is a great thing and we are taking it all from us. The only way this cat will be killed is if it classified as a man eater. Because it is a protected animal here. So if it does get killed i pray that who ever does get the max sentecne they deserve to it. Do your home work on these cats and the other dangerous animals that live right in you back yard.

-- Posted by bookie102 on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 8:14 PM

bookie102,

compared to the amount of land out west, we do not have deep country here. I know this because I live here as well. Drop me off in any woods around here, how long would it take to walk, to the nearest house or road, not very, compared to the western states, where the majority of these cats live. As far as doing homework on these cats, I did. If you want to do yours google missoulian and mountain lions(just one example) which someone else posted already. You may also want to do your homework on the laws. The animal is protected from hunting, however you may legally take the animal if its doing damage on your property. So does this mean I have to wait for it to kill a cow, chicken, goat, sheep..etc.. The way I read the law, I do not. Perhaps you interpret it a different way. I would also say that if a "weirdo" had my kid in their mouth as a mountain lion would, I would react the same as if a mountain lion did, because they have crossed the line from human being to animal, which is what a mountain lion is.

-- Posted by tbirdfan on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 9:22 PM

There is a reason why these cats haven't been comfirmed here in more than a 150 years they are killers. You can't say they just wait along a deer trail and wait for a deer to come by. they attack humans if given the chance. look at the reports of attacks out west. If I see the thing on my property it is dead..if on land close to mine it is dead. I won't wait until a innocent person is killed to say well maybe we should have done something about it. my 5th great grandpa is listed in the history of greene county as tracking and killing bear. he knew they were killers as well as using them for his own good. I'll do the same any cat i can't pet on the head or lay on my lap around greene county is better dead than alive. I also would like to thank all the idiots who get these animals as kits and then they get loose or escape their pens...to which the owners are like no this ain't my cat...either put them in areas where there is no people or kill them don't keep them caged in a cage and made to live thier lives without cause...i.e. idiot lady from new ark...could be her cat...If I see it me and my redneck buddies will have a hunt....cause God knows given the chance it will hunt you and me and our kids....

-- Posted by porterray on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 9:39 PM

In the woods, there are some dense areas where amateurs could get lost, where the deer abound, and where I've seen eagles' flying to nests in high sycamores, coyotes in packs, and remote ancient Indian campsites, workshops, and burial areas. This is an area still rich in wildlife and hunting, too.

Coyotes have killed two of our dogs from our yard, and this winter I saw a deer carcass similar to what's been described. It's not uncommon to see deer in our backyard on an early morning. In fact, I once saw a buck within six feet of me between our garage and back door of the house. It had been hit by a car and had three good legs! It loped off before I could react.

I don't hunt anything but the occasional mushroom I can find, but neighbors carry legally and can shoot in defense, if necessary. My neighbor had to shoot a wild dog trying to kill his chained dog, a howling wildcat foaming at the mouth on a fence post and a poisonous snake trying to strike at him in his garden. These are country occurrences.

-- Posted by LITERATI on Wed, May 12, 2010, at 11:30 PM

I guess there are no RATTLESNAKES or COPPERHEADS in your area?

-- Posted by sullyst.gobain@gmail.com on Thu, May 13, 2010, at 3:25 AM

"Healthy cats never hunt humans".....

I don't think that's accurate, according to data from actual attacks. I had always heard that, too.... that it was sick or very old cats going after humans.

According to this website, many of these attacking cougars were young and healthy.....

http://www.cougarinfo.org/attacks2.htm

-- Posted by PinkMarie on Thu, May 13, 2010, at 7:52 AM

If this or any other cat starts paying my property taxes, then I guess i'll think about not shooting it. Thanks to all those who want the cat left alone, you have persuaded me.

-- Posted by tbirdfan on Sat, May 15, 2010, at 8:50 AM

In some sates and countys there are wild animals like this that DNR let loose to kill off sick animals and what not!

-- Posted by jk03mnths on Tue, May 18, 2010, at 6:31 PM

I live in Johnson Co. and my neighbor just saw the Cougar. Conservation Officers have verified the tracks. Just FYI

-- Posted by marine on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 10:10 PM

I am not surprised at the more frequent sightings of mountain lions in Indiana. For all that one "supposedly" had not been seen since 1865, I can assure you my cousin had a close call with one in the 1960s in West Township of Marshall County, IN. She had been left home to milk the cows while her parents were doing errands in town, and she saw one stalking the cows as she was herding the cows into the barn. Once she had the cows secured, she took refuge in the concrete milkhouse. Soon her parents drove past the barn, and the sound of the car scared off the cat. There were other sightings of the cat near the Yellow River that runs perhaps a half-mile from the farm.

In the same 1960-1970 era there were several sightings of black panthers along the Elkhart River in Elkhart, Indiana. Some of the cats would venture into yards and get into people's garbage cans.

In the last two years (2009 to 2010) there have been countless sightings of mountain lions along the East Coast of the U.S. A few months ago a mountain was struck and killed on a highway in New Jersey, and the photo of the cat was published in a newspaper as proof that the cats have moved into the area. One explanation is that many farms on the East Coast went out of existence and were overgrown by forest. Then, of course, the deer herds moved in, followed by the mountain lions. Another theory is that the cats are migrating up the East Coast as housing development in Florida is taking over the habitat the cougars had there. If a male lion can travel 150 miles a day, it would take a lion about two weeks to travel from Florida to the East Coast and New England states.

I agree that everyone should be very careful about going outdoors in agricultural areas and the small towns that border them. It is not safe to let children and pets go outside unattended any more, and it is far better to be safe than sorry.

-- Posted by SheilaSB on Fri, Jul 29, 2011, at 2:55 AM


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