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Thread: more New England mountain lion rumors

  1. #181
    Senior Member Lawn Sale's Avatar
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    I guess my point is there is evidence, at least in the midcoast Maine area, that mountain lions exist. However, not enough for the state biologists to consider it "concrete". That's not to demonize them, it's just that they require certain criteria to be met before they'll publicly confirm them and that obviously hasn't been met yet. The people I used to deal with in the state were rather closed minded and opinionated, which is why I posted I wasn't surprised. I have formed that opinion from dealing with them over a decade, so it was not rash or hasty. I realize not all are that way.

    It doesn't matter to me at all, I have seen it and know it was there when I saw it. I don't need to convince others of what I saw, they can either choose to believe it or not, it doesn't impact me one way or the other. I still hike and mountain bike in the area, as do all of my friends, and I have never heard of anyone having a problem with an encounter. But then I've never heard of anyone having an encounter with a bear either, and those are definitely prevalent.

    It may be domestic, but it doesn't matter, I don't know as I only saw it crossing a road. Since they have found deer hair in trees, I know it knows how to hunt (sustain itself), and the sightings last summer (2009) also supposedly included two cubs. I am surprised the tracks, hair, and limited photographs aren't enough proof, but given time, I'm sure it'll emerge.

    I hope people leave it alone, but also hope when it is 'officially confirmed', special zones and provisions aren't set up to 'protect' it.
    Last edited by Lawn Sale; 12-07-2010 at 10:16 AM.
    Appearances are not everything, it just looks like they are.




  2. #182
    Senior Member el-bagr's Avatar
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    This is a topic of personal interest to me. Big cats are nifty creatures. I enjoy hearing the different perspectives expressed here, including the first-hand accounts that seem surprisingly numerous.

    Johnranta logically emphasizes the importance of a nearby wild population to "seed" wandering mountain lions into New England:

    Quote Originally Posted by johnranta View Post
    But he went on to say that he considered the biggest argument against the existence of a wild mountain lion population in New Hampshire (and Maine) to be the lack of a nearby population of wild mountain lions as a source. ... He said that with no nearby wild population (the closest being the UP of Michigan) there's no place for wild New Hampshire mountain lions to be pushed from. Given what he knows about wildlife behavior, this makes the possibility of wild mountain lions in New Hampshire to be close to zero.
    I would note that mountain lions are confirmed to reside in Quebec, according to the Ministry for Natural Resources, Fauna and Parks. (Here is the Ministry's web page on the cougar in Quebec.) I have seen signs warning backcountry travelers of their presence north of Quebec City (in the large forests between the city and Lac Saint Jean). For the sake of completeness, at least one of the confirmed mountain lions in Quebec was from a subspecies not naturally found there, suggesting the presence of escaped captive animals. Still, the Ministry treats Quebec as having a naturally present mountain lion population.

    With mountain lions present in Quebec, New England does not strike me as too far for them to walk.

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by el-bagr View Post

    With mountain lions present in Quebec, New England does not strike me as too far for them to walk.
    I spoke to someone whose name I will not mention. Suffice it to say he is highly educated and in a position to have very credible info on this subject. He told me there are mountain lions who reside in NE. Some are releases, some are not.
    He said they travel great distances and are very fast. He believes that in ~20-30 yrs we will most definitely have breeding populations in this area.

    *I think it's most interesting that there has been a siting shared on these boards that someone saw two cougar kits. Personally, I think there are cases of mistaken identity but I also believe there have been very credible sitings.

  4. #184
    Junior Member johnranta's Avatar
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    Les lions de montagne du Québec

    Thanks for the link to the Quebec website. In reading, it appears that they are in somewhat the same boat that we are. Lots of reported sightings (hundreds over the past 20 years) but the only hard evidence they have is of a lion with DNA from South America. A released pet.

    The Quebec site is also a bit skeptical about there being a breeding population there, as their sense is that if there are mountain lions they are very scattered and may not meet up with each other very often. On the other hand, the majority of sightings are in southern Quebec, near the St Lawrence. Just a hop-skip-and-a-jump to New Hampshire and Maine.

    That said, we don't really know if we have wild mountain lions setting up shop in New Hampshire until we have hard evidence. Evidence is not "I saw one, and I know what I saw" (even if what you saw was a mountain lion). Evidence is not "a really good friend who knows a lot about wildlife told me that they're out there" (even if your friend is right). Evidence is not a fuzzy photo taken from a game camera face-on without clear shot of the tail (as I've had someone here in the Monadnock region show me and insist was a mountain lion and not a bobcat - it may have been a lion, but it was most likely a bobcat).

    Evidence is a fresh scat (if you find one, make sure you seal it in a baggie immediately, and put it in the freezer until you can find someone who will test it - it's the mucous on the scat that offers the best chance for DNA testing). It's a carcass (a carcass would answer a lot of questions, but why have none showed up?). It's a set of clear photos, or a clear video (with all the game cameras that are out there now, why no good shots? All the photos I've seen, and I've seen dozens, are indistinct, distant, blurry, etc - the clearest photos I've seen are the set of a cat on someone's back porch in the snow, which looks very lion-like but which also screams "pet" - given that it's hanging around a human dwelling). It's a set of fresh, clear prints (no claw marks, preferably in mud - take pictures with a ruler in the shot, get front and back paws, and back up to get photos of the stride - again with a measuring device in the shot, and make sure all shots are in focus with good contrast). It's hair (a tuft of hair, with roots, for DNA testing - again, seal in a baggie and find someone to test, but first try to be sure it's not deer or bobcat).

    And now that I've written all of this out, even this is not evidence of a wild, breeding population. Until the DNA says so. But I do love all the reports and stories...

  5. #185
    Senior Member funkyfreddy's Avatar
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    Talking

    Just wondering how many mountain lion pets there could be...... maybe one or two are wandering from Quebec through Maine into the Adirondacks then down to NJ for the sightings there?

    Perhaps some cougars were abducted by aliens from South America and then released in eastern North America after they were thoroughly probed and experimented on.....

    I think I lost Occam's Razor, then again I haven't been shaving as much as I should be lately.

  6. #186
    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    Good question. When first married, we lived in a rented house in the suburbs with a big woods behind us. Our neighbor was a little different. He kept exotic cats as pets, a cougar and a leopard another time.
    One time a friends dog got loose and he chased the dog into the back yard of our neighbor and the dog and he almost ran smack into an adult mountain lion chained to a couple of concrete blocks...
    Our neighbor fed his cats road killed deer and meat he picked up who knows where. One summer evening my wife and I were sitting in our living room with the windows open. We starting hearing loud pops, go outside and find our neighbor with his .22 rifle. A large family of raccoons were in the butternut tree in our front yard and he was spotlighting and shooting them out of the tree. As if killing raccoons 10' from our porch was the most normal of occurences he explains he was just getting food for the kittys.

    There are probably enough people who keep mountain lions as pets. Some of them escape, and maybe some get let loose when the burden and expense of keeping them in food gets too much.
    I too would enjoy knowing that there is a breeding population in the mountains of NY or New England.
    "The fact that going off the deep end appears
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    in this life has not escaped me." Jim Harrison

  7. #187
    Senior Member funkyfreddy's Avatar
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    WOW I guess it takes all kinds to make a world, doesn't it? LOL

  8. #188
    Senior Member Little Rickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peakbagr View Post
    Good question. When first married, we lived in a rented house in the suburbs with a big woods behind us. Our neighbor was a little different. He kept exotic cats as pets, a cougar and a leopard another time..
    Did he keep the big cats forever, did the go somewhere or did the expire on his property?
    Peace

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  9. #189
    Senior Member dentonfabrics's Avatar
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    This was from John Harrigan's weekly article;

    Every several years I ask readers to send in accounts of strange finds. I'd mentioned deer carcasses found lodged in high forks or trees. The last time I mentioned this, a reader sent me a photo of a deer skeleton lodged high in a tree in the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Only one animal could or would do this.

    ...obvious reference to a mountain lion.

  10. #190
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    Portland Press Herald 3/2/11

    It's official. The Eastern Cougar is extinct. http://www.pressherald.com/news/East...d-extinct.html

    I know it is true. I read it in the newspaper.
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  11. #191
    Senior Member cooperhill's Avatar
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    Some more information from US Fish and Wildlife Service on today's declaration.

    http://www.fws.gov/northeast/ecougar...easefinal.html
    Chris

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  12. #192
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Ive seen lions out west, as much as I would love it if the Whites had them, I do not believe they do. I spend way to much time out there solo, Ive seen every creature the mountains have to offer, until they find a live one or a dead one, I will not belive they are here. Harrigan is quite a hunter and woodsman, but to be honest I find his position perplexing in regards to lions being here.

  13. #193
    Senior Member Papa Bear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peakbagr View Post
    Good question. When first married, we lived in a rented house in the suburbs with a big woods behind us. Our neighbor was a little different. He kept exotic cats as pets, a cougar and a leopard another time.
    ...
    Our neighbor fed his cats road killed deer and meat he picked up who knows where. One summer evening my wife and I were sitting in our living room with the windows open. We starting hearing loud pops, go outside and find our neighbor with his .22 rifle. A large family of raccoons were in the butternut tree in our front yard and he was spotlighting and shooting them out of the tree. As if killing raccoons 10' from our porch was the most normal of occurences he explains he was just getting food for the kittys.
    ...
    Only slightly off-topic.

    On Oct. 6, 2003, FunkyFreddie and I were peakbagging New York City (see: This report). We were reading the morning's New York Times as we took the subway up to our first peak. Here's what I wrote:
    The morning paper reported one Antoine Yates had been bitten by his pet tiger Ming, which he had kept in his New York apartment for over 3 years. As his pet grew from a cub, first his mother fled the premises and lately even Mr. Yates had been forced to stay with a neighbor and feed the animal by throwing pieces of raw chicken in through a narrowly opened door. When the police came, a sharpshooter rappelled down from the roof to shoot the tiger with a tranquilizer dart through the window. When the animal was removed, a 5 foot alligator-like caiman was also found. Neighbors said the tiger's presence was widely known and did not really alarm anyone. Said one: "It was a house pet, to me that was cool" ...
    So now I just checked that out - did I imagine it or make it up? No. See Oct. 6, 2003 NY Times story

    If you can raise a Tiger in a New York City apartment, a pet lion in New Hampshire is a piece of cake.
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  14. #194
    Senior Member Lefty E's Avatar
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    Good point brought out by sierra, as proof is always needed in any situation,;but I feel there is evidence of the existence of mountain lion, wolf, and lynx in Northern NH..witness accounts are taken as the best type of "evidence," and determining the credibility of the witnesses would be the job of a judge or jury..I've seen prints of canine and feline tracks, and plaster casts of same, look too small to be dog or kitty....Lefty E

  15. #195
    Senior Member cooperhill's Avatar
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    Nashua Telegraph reporter looking to talk to folks who have seen an "eastern" cougar.

    http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/...-a-cougar.html
    Chris

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