August 31, 2011
Trail Cam Snaps Photo of Cougar in Louisiana
By Chad Love
Cougar sightings have been - literally - all over the map this year, but now you can add a little Cajun spice to the simmering mountain lion gumbo...
From this story in the Houston Chronicle:
A trail camera got a shot of a cougar in rural Vernon Parish this month, but there's no telling where the animal is now, says the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' large carnivore program manager.
It was photographed Aug. 13 at a deer bait site and probably is a young male striking out for territory of its own, Maria Davidson said Monday. "He could easily be a hundred miles from there by now," she said. The department isn't releasing the location, which is on private land. It's very unlikely that the animal will find a mate in Louisiana.
The nearest breeding population of cougars is in West Texas. Louisiana's last verified sighting was in 2008. "At this rate I don't see a population establishing itself any time in the foreseeable future. We're too far outside of its known range," Davidson said. Davidson says there's no way to tell whether the one that was photographed is a wild cougar or an escaped captive.
What say you, Louisiana hunters? Wild lion or escaped pet?