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Thread: more New England mountain lion rumors

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  2. #2
    Sleeping Giant
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    My father lives in Woodstock CT and has seen mountain lions three times in the past year. He's an astute and precise wildlife observer, having been everywhere in the world looking at birds, and I don't doubt he's right. He also knows several other people in the area who have seen them, and one woman who was actually attacked. The CT DEP and assorted other agencies have really thrown cold water on that event (they said it was a dog) as well as other sightings because they don't want to deal with the aftermath. There really seems to be quite a cover-up going on there.

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    Senior Member SAR-EMT40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeping Giant
    He also knows several other people in the area who have seen them, and one woman who was actually attacked. The CT DEP and assorted other agencies have really thrown cold water on that event (they said it was a dog) as well as other sightings because they don't want to deal with the aftermath. There really seems to be quite a cover-up going on there.
    Could you tell me about the attack. Was it reported by any news organization in CT? I have never heard of an attack. While I am open to the possibility that a lion or two might be in CT. I have seen no evidence and I spend a fair amount of time tromping around in the Bigelow Hollow area near cat rocks which I believe would be ideal cat habitat as it was in the past.

    Not passing judgment one way or another, just looking for information,
    Keith
    "The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information."- Ed Abbey

  4. #4
    Sleeping Giant
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    The story was told to me by my father, who was told it by the next-door neighbor of the woman who was attacked, so bear that in mind.

    This woman is around 60 and has a large property in the Woodstock area. She was doing something outside and was suddenly knocked down from behind. She was clawed on the face and upper body briefly, then whatever it was for some reason ran off. The woman saw it clearly only as it was running away, and swears it was a mountain lion. Her husband only saw her after the attack and didn't see the animal, but said that the claw marks couldn't possibly have come from a dog or anything else with the heft to knock someone down from behind. What's especially interesting is that there was some kind of accident report filed (I don't know with whom) and someone from the State DEP or health organization showed up to take down her story. When she insisted it was a mountain lion she was told that that was impossible, that it must have been a dog, and that she shouldn't talk about the incident. Not surprisingly, according to my father there was absolutely no press about this.

    Again, this is obviously hearsay, so bear that in mind. However, my father says that people in Woodstock are quite concerned about the situation. One farmer he knows lost a couple of sheep to an unseen animal which pretty much ripped them apart. He staked a goat to see if he could lure whatever it was and see. The goat was ripped to pieces the next morning, but no other evidence.

    I realize this all sounds lurid and apocryphal, but my observation is that the people I know in that area tend to be very down-to-earth and straight shooters.

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    Senior Member SAR-EMT40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeping Giant
    When she insisted it was a mountain lion she was told that that was impossible, that it must have been a dog, and that she shouldn't talk about the incident.
    Why they would have told her to not talk about it I can't imagine. What, is national security at risk? She should have told everyone and call the papers. Providing she wasn't worried about ridicule.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeping Giant
    He staked a goat to see if he could lure whatever it was and see. The goat was ripped to pieces the next morning, but no other evidence.
    The next time he has an extra goat and wants to sacrifice it have him call me. I have a digital game camera that would have caught the details. We would have had a series of pictures. Seriously.


    Keith
    "The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information."- Ed Abbey

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    Senior Member smitty77's Avatar
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    I do about 90% of my paving work in the Dayville/Putnam area of CT (just south of Woodstock) and can vouch that the locals are convinced that mountain lions are back. There's been a few sightings, but most get brushed under the rug. The vogue name offered up by wildlife officials is a Lynx or a Cougar. There was a sighting a couple of years ago in the metro-west area of Mass that officials steadfastly swear was a large dog, though the police officers that saw the animal swear it was a cat, and far too large to be a bobcat. See this story

    Wildlife officials have gone to great lengths to keep these sightings hushed. I don't know why, but every time a local comes out with a sighting there is a very harsh tone in the official response that borders on ridiculing those that claim to have seen such a large cat.
    East bound and down, loaded up and truckin', we gonna do what 'They' say can't be done.
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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty77
    The vogue name offered up by wildlife officials is a Lynx or a Cougar.
    Cougar is another name for mountain lion. (As are puma and panther.)

    Lynx is a distinct species.

    Doug

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    Member JackH's Avatar
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    mountain lions

    I donít doubt any of the mountain lion rumors. Over the past few years the top end of the food chain here in Connecticut seems pretty healthy- probably due to our ample deer population. Just this summer I have seen a bobcat and a fisher myself and two co-workers have had separate sightings of a lynx here in central Connecticut. I agree with one the articles noted, our new housing developments are encroaching on the territory of these animals making sightings more common. It is both exhilarating and cause for concern.

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    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Just in the interest of balance, it's easy to see why officials aren't quick to believe eyewitnesses. remember this? The woman who says she saw the animal when it was alive and who *photographed* the corpse is quoted as being certain it wasn't a dog. It was a dog. (DNA later confirmed this, but it's pretty obvious from the photos.) This article doesn't have the really juicy quotes from the eyewitnesses; I found another article with the statement "it looked like something out of a Steven King movie", but I remember much, much more interesting quotes.

    Ah, here we go, from the always-reliable and never-sensationalistic Fox News site:

    "This is something I've never seen before," said Mike O'Donnell, who lives near the area where the creature was found. "It's an evil looking thing. It looks like half-rodent, half-dog."

    ---

    "It was evil, evil looking. And it had a horrible stench I will never forget," Michelle O'Donnell, who claims she saw the animal in her yard a week before it was found dead, said.

    ---
    -----
    At least one of the CT "mountain lion" eyewitnesses mentioned a "bushy tail". That sounds just a bit unlikely to be a mountain lion.

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    There was one in western Franklin County in MA a few years back...late 90s or early 2000s if I recall...I don't remember the details in terms of if/how it was caught, but apparently it was brought to the area by someone trying to 'reintroduce it to its natural habitat' or something. No human attacks, though.

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    Senior Member SAR-EMT40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul
    Cougar is another name for mountain lion. (As are puma and panther.)

    Lynx is a distinct species.

    Doug
    Catamount is another name for Cougar.

    Keith
    "The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information."- Ed Abbey

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    Senior Member ripple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAR-EMT40
    Why they would have told her to not talk about it I can't imagine. What, is national security at risk?
    First of all a mountain lion attack would get a lot of people all nerved up, and people would panic. Also if there is confirmed mountain lions in the state.. they would have to devote resources to protect, study, monitor etc etc. Those resources just aren't there. CT isn't the only state brushing off possible mt lion populations. States list mountain lions as sighting and then say it was an exotic pet that escaped, which is the case, sometimes. A horse farm down the road from my place in southern NH had a horse that was attacked by "something". Was written up as a coyote attack. I didn't know coyotes would leave long deep claw marks on top of the horse rump and shoulder area. So according to the powers that be... New England does not have a Mt lion population.
    Once in a while you get shown the light
    in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
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    Senior Member SAR-EMT40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripple
    First of all a mountain lion attack would get a lot of people all nerved up, and people would panic. Also if there is confirmed mountain lions in the state.. they would have to devote resources to protect, study, monitor etc etc. Those resources just aren't there. CT isn't the only state brushing off possible mt lion populations. States list mountain lions as sighting and then say it was an exotic pet that escaped, which is the case, sometimes. A horse farm down the road from my place in southern NH had a horse that was attacked by "something". Was written up as a coyote attack. I didn't know coyotes would leave long deep claw marks on top of the horse rump and shoulder area. So according to the powers that be... New England does not have a Mt lion population.

    Thanks, I know this. My question was more along the line of were do they get off trying to tell a citizen that they shouldn't talk about it?

    As far as the people being afraid of Mountain lions there is some justification for that. They can be a problem animal. As far as the last statment about a Mt Lion population. That reminds me more of the terminology used to indicate that it isn't believed that there is a self sustaining population. One released pet into the woods does not make a population. Its more of a rouge kitty.

    Keith
    "The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information."- Ed Abbey

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    I am not at all an expert, but my understanding from reading about this over the years, is that there are probably some mountain lions in the east, but they are not a wild, breeding, sustaining population. In Conn and most areas (like the Daks), they are most likely released pets or animals transported by humans.

    Being out in the open during the day (to be seen) or having contact with humans makes it much more likely that they were not "wild". Out west, there is more of an issue of encroachment and territory pressure between lions, that drive some lions into human populated areas. But that can't be happening here, and so I would guess any actual wild lions in the east would be deep in the woods and never seen.

    I do hope that wolves and lions walk back across the border into Maine, since then that would be a wild population protected as an endangered species.

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    Senior Member funkyfreddy's Avatar
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    This article is from Hillsdale, NY.

    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?B...&PAG=461&rfi=9

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