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Question by dplummer. Uploaded on October 06, 2009
There's plenty of woods up there.
They deny it in KS too But my bro in Law has seen the cats, and I have tracked one.
My dad and cousin saw one in the woods behind our N.Pa Camp. Both are experienced hunters and outdoorsman. The local talk about sightings often.
here in iowa we have gone through the same thing they denied it until we shot a dozen or so
There are plenty of sightings and stories. I asked a similar question a couple of weeks ago, only on a nationwide basis. What I found is that in places where they are known to exist, there is solid evidence (road kills, news coverage, hunter/trapper kills, nuisance animals, etc.). In PA, there are just a lot of sightings and stories.
Wildlife agencies often do not deny it, but since there is no solid evidence, they cannot confirm it. The common answer is, "There isn't enough credible evidence to support the claim that mountain lions exist here."
If there are mountain lions in PA, I expect the first credible evidence to be a road kill, a hunter kill, an incidental catch by a trapper, or a trail camera photo that can be solidly confirmed by nearby tracks or scat and a re-creation of the photograph for scale.
One thing I've learned from working in biology is NOTHING is impossible, so I guess this is a long winded, "Maybe..."
Where do they live? What do they eat?
I grew up in Tioga Coounty and hunt in Lycoming and Sullivan Counties today. I've hiked in Allegheny Nat Forest. I have seen bears, gray foxes, and a bobcat.
A lot of people insist they know someone who saw a mountain lion, couger, puma, catamount, but no one has secured evidence - no photo, hair, blood.
If there are big cats out there, they came from out-of-state, and recently.
People forget that most of PA was clear cut around the turn of the last century. You see trees and you think they've always been there. You see deer, and you think the same. When the big trees came down, the habitat collapsed. The deer herd was so sparse the Game Commission imported I think 50 or so.
As shrubs and secondary forest grew in, the deer herd increased, and so now there is a food source for big cats, but this is only in the last decades.
i think it might be like it is here in ky everyone has seen them very often but dont you think it strange with the amount of hunters in the woods one would be dead by now or at least a picture
alot of the pepole cant tell you the diffrence in a bob cat and a mountian lion they dont no i lived on our farm all my life and have hunted every inch of it and the home owner next to us swear their are mountian lions and panthers on our land their is not but we do have a few bob cats that use the caves every year for thier young
The Game Commission denies this?
Asking those who think ruffling it is a night at the The Atlantis,Atlantis Bridge Suite, Paradise Island, Bahamas at $25,000 per night
Lesserson, I've heard the tales as well about turkeys in that region. Before the logging, it was all pine and no birds could be found. But once the logging cleared that out, the hardwoods took over, and the birds moved in from other parts of the state.
Apparently there has been 7 or so sightings about 20 miles south of where I live. They are in the process of following up on these sightings. I also have read that they do have credible evidence...plaster casts, hair, scat, etc. I know to be cautious about what I read on the internet, but some hunters that I have met have similar stories in the same plots of forest. I too have had a sighting while bow hunting 8 years ago. A large black cat came through the brush to stand from me only 15 yards away. I know this sounds crazy but at that distance its hard to mistake what you are looking at. It quickly darted away. On my way out of the woods that day I ran into an old man. From the look on my face he knew I had seen something strange. Without me even saying anything about the sighting he asked if I too had seen the black cat. He had seen it the year before in the same general area. Black cats are not even native to this area. They are from South America (if I have my facts straight) Could the G.C. be bringing these cats in under our noses??? Or did I just see some rich guys lost exotic pet???
The state of La. claimed there were none there too, till all the trail cam pics stsrted showing up from all over the state. Now they are saying that they "might" have some. Still not admitting they are there though.
Black panthers are not native to anywhere. All-black is a melanistic animal, like an albino in reverse. You've multiplied the improbablility by a major factor.
I have to believe what you saw was an escapee, and possibly not a puma concolor, but could be any big cat (jaguar, leopard, etc), since they can survive in any other big cat's range.
I do not deny that mountain lions could be living in PA, but I do not believe they can have had an unbroken residence. If they are making a comeback, it's because they've moved in from outside, and DNA testing would show that.
If, as some believe, they've been deliberately reintroduced, I don't believe the Game Commission has anything to do with it. There is just no motive.
As far as Louisianna goes, I'd believe anything. Ivory Billed Woodpeckers, Ground Sloths, T-Rex:)
dplummer, is 20 miles south of you the Pine Creek gorge? I'd wonder if something got out of Animaland zoo.
Or any small zoo.
Lots of exotic animal permits in PA. Local news in Lehigh Valley covered a woman killed recently by her captive blackbear. She had a lion, and something else I can't remember. And a different guy was happy to get his wolf/dog hybrid back after it ran off.
Not close to Pine Creek Gorge. But I thought the same thing. Someone's pet or zoo escapee. I haven't heard anything about it in a long time. I don't think any wild animal that can eat you is a good idea for a family pet.
I have heard of fishers being mistaken as "black panthers." They are native, look similar to a cat (they are often called fisher cats), can get quite large, and are very dark in color. Just throwing that idea out there.
As far as state wildlife agencies doing surprise reintroductions...that kind of stuff just does not happen. A reintroduction program requires a proper habitat assessment to determine if a reintroduction is even feasible. Then there would be a series of public meetings where the opinions of pertinent stakeholders would be voiced, recorded, and considered. If the plan makes it past those stages, a management plan must be developed, revised, and finalized (usually this is done before the public meetings, then revised and finalized after the meetings to comply with stakeholder needs). After that, there would be an extensive trapping effort, where several, not just one or two, animals would be captured and held in containment before release. Finally, all those animals would be fitted with ear tags, radio collars, and possibly pit tags to track their spatial movements and make sure they were staying somewhat in the area where they had been released. To top it all off, all of those activities would be documented somewhere (journals, news papers, tv, etc.), because reintroduction programs are often hit or miss. A miss results in a complete waste of all of money, time, energy, and resources, which is something wildlife agencies cannot afford to do. In other words, it is too expensive of a process not to be documented someplace for future reference. Want proof? Ask anyone where wolves were reintroduced. I'm sure they can verify most, if not everything I've said. If they can't, read the book "Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone." That book pretty much sums up the whole process.
If there are mountain lions in PA, then they either made it here on their own, they were transported from western states by private individuals (either as pets or as someones romance driven private reintroduction program) and released, or they escaped from a zoo.
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