Pa. Mountain Lions:
Do Pennsylvania mountain lions exist? Well the debate rages on. I am sure the Pennsylvania Game Commission will deny this at all costs. My thoughts? Why not! As elusive as these cats are, why couldn’t we at least consider that they are. There is plenty of mountains and wooded area within this state that could hold small cat populations. Especially up north around Potter County and surrounding counties. Just look at the coyote population, as many coyotes that are in the state (some say as many as 40,000). Yet they are rarely seen. I think it is very feasable that there could mountain lions within our state and beyond. It is my goal in this post to present as much evidence as possible to the reader that this is a very very real possibility. I will also provide links to articles so you can research and form your own opinion regarding this topic.
Pennsylvania Cougar Sightings:
Hunters and farmers pretty much decimated the cougar population here in Pennsylvania and other neighboring states by the late 1800’s. Soon the mountain lion was gone in pretty much all of the eastern United States. The last remaining stronghold for these cats was pretty much confined to the Rocky Mountains out west. However, many believe these cats have been migrating east from the Rockies and south out of Canada. Here is a link of a reported lion kill near Altoona, Pa. It was apparently killed by a truck. I am sure mountain lion hoaxes are rampant at times. That same link I just presented to you has also been reported as a lion kill from Arizona in 2007. Here is a link to a forum debating the existence of Pennsylvania cougars. I would strongly encourage any reader who has seen a Pa. mountain lion or knows anyone who has to please respond by leaving a comment below. Here is an article dating back to 2014 and seems much more credible than a lot of articles I have seen. At least in this article we have the Pennsylvania Game Commission as quoting “anything is possible” Here is another link. This link is from a Penn State article regarding The Eastern Cougar Foundation, a clearinghouse for cougar sightings. This article clearly states that they have DNA proof that mountain lions do indeed exist in Maryland and West Virginia. Both these states border Pennsylvania. Considering the wide range of territory that these cats cover, it would not be to hard to conceive that these cats are crossing into Pennsylvania.
There is also evidence thru the The Cougar Network that cougars are making there way eastward from the Rocky Mountains. They have verified cougar existance in New York, Maine, Massachusetts and even Connecticut, where a young male lion with DNA originating in South Dakota’s Black Hills ended up as suburban road-kill in 2011. This is very interesting, another state bordering Pennsylvania. The link to that article as well is included here. In 2008 a cougar was spotted by by some construction workers who tried to contain it but eventually ended up killing it in Downingtown, Pa. Read this article here. There are even stories of The Pa Game Commission releasing mountain lions in the state. This I do not believe. The next link dates back to 2011 and has several pictures of cougars. You be the judge. The first very large picture is very interesting. This cat in this picture somewhat resembles a house cat. But take a close look at that tail! I am somewhat bothered by this pic. The image of a mountain lion strolling over the snow covered ground is very intriguing also. This has to be an undeniable picture of a mountain lion! What is your opinion? I would really like to know! I just came across a Youtube video where a deer hunter in his stand videos a so called black mountain lion. Watch the video and tell me what you think! My opinion? A black house cat for sure!
In my opinion I believe there is a population of cougars in the state of Pennsylvania. But again I stated earlier the debate rages on. I am very interested in what you think. I would love to hear your opinion and would love to hear if you or a person you know may have had a personal sighting of your own. Please do so by leaving your comments in the comment box below.