Your browser will redirect to your requested content shortly. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection receives 50-100 reports of mountain lions each year, says Paul Rego, a wildlife biologist with the department. That said, do you hope this mountain lion sighting means that the Eastern Cougar isn’t extinct. The fisher is a large member of the Mustelidae (weasel) family that prefers large tracts of coniferous or mixed hardwood-softwood forests. Rego has many reasons why a conspiracy to conceal mountain lions by his colleagues at DEEP is impossible. Black panthers, which are not found in the U.S., are actually black jaguars or leopards. There was a problem saving your notification. Not really, Rego says. The views expressed in this post are the author's own. The Wildlife Division is collecting sighting reports to help monitor Connecticut's fisher population. “There is a big difference between Tuesday when none of us saw a moose in our region and then Thursday we did,” Morse says. French said last known native mountain lion in the state was killed about 1858. The senior writer at Connecticut Magazine, Erik is the co-author of Penguin Random House’s “The Good Vices” and author of “Buzzed” and “Gillette Castle.” He is also an adjunct professor at WCSU’s MFA Program and Quinnipiac University. Photos or other evidence wold be greatly helpful, said Cianci, who encouraged anyone with photos or information to reach out. Canton and Simsbury have also had about 70 sightings. Rego says that if there were many other animals like the 2011 cat that died in Milford, there would be more visual or physical evidence. The next week, on June 11, the cat was hit and killed by an SUV on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Milford. He explains that we frequently overestimate the size of animals in the wild, particularly ones we are afraid of. Mountain lions have not have a native, self-sustaining population in the New York State since the late 1800s, according to DEC. “We have plenty of suitable habitat,” he says. Mountain Lion sightings in CT. 66 likes. Darienite reports that New Canaan town officials received a “credible” report of a sighting. "I will continue to monitor the area and encourage people to report sightings or concerns, as always photographic evidence is always great."�. He also quoted the work of geneticist Melanie Culver, who has proven that all North American puma species are genetically virtually identical. Mountain lion sightings are rare in Connecticut. Bobcats: They are about two to three times larger than their distant relative. His mentor, Aldo Leopold, a prominent wildlife biologist, also believed this, but felt if people learned about these populations, they would be hunted to extinction. Abbott, of the Housatonic Valley Association, is equally skeptical of the vast majority of mountain lion sightings. Have you ever seen a cougar? With�February and March come the animal's breeding season, and many residents report seeing them making their way in the snowy woods. DEEP believes their numbers have increased in recent years. Contrary to traditional thought, population studies have shown that mountain lions prefer rolling hills and more heavily developed areas to remote mountain regions. They are named for their short (bobbed) tail which is often about six inches in length. Genetic testing placed the animal in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and the cat had been sighted at several different points during its long journey east. That had to be a mountain lion. Uscinski, a Connecticut native, adds that the theory that the government is covering up the existence of mountain lions is likely motivated by a distrust of authority. I just wanted to say that I agree with Mr. Avitabile and his analysis about mountain lions in CT. Westford Eagle ~ 150 Baker Ave. "We have rolling hills, and more importantly, 200,000 white tails. To learn more, or to report wildlife concerns, contact the animal control office at Chelmsford police, or call 978-256-0754. ", Cianci said, "We did a patrol through the area and did not find anything that was concerning at this time.There have only been two confirmed cases of mountain lions in Massachusetts that I�m aware of.". Initially, officials believed it had been released from a private handler. "The description did match that of a small mountain lion. Based on this blurry photo and pawprints, DEEP confirmed it was likely a mountain lion. 3 Fights. U.S. National Park Service / Contributed photo A woman reportedly saw another cougar in New Canaan two years ago, but wildlife officials found the paw prints inconclusive. Tim Abbott, the regional land conservation and greenprint director for the Housatonic Valley Association, says that during a lecture on mountain lions last winter at Housatonic Valley Regional High School in Falls Village, when the speaker asked if anyone had seen a mountain lion, half of the roughly 400 people in attendance raised their hands. What other news would you like to see? #Election2020: Democrat Joe Biden leads in many swing-state polls but President Trump's support is within the margin of error. The lack of evidence conflicts with the widely held public perception that the Bay State is home to a resident population of the big cats.". Report your observations to deep.ctwildlife@ct.gov. I've seen bobcats and foxes before but this was a Lg cat with a very long tail. The 2011 mountain lion was the first confirmed sighting in more than 100 years for Connecticut. Share your thoughts at our online survey, at chelmsford.wickedlocal.com. However, that doesn’t mean there’s an honest to goodness mountain lion in New Canaan. Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted. "The fact that individual�mountain ions�have occurred in the state from time to time in recent years is supported by tangible evidence,including DNA," French said in the fact sheet. The likelihood of a mountain lion roaming Monroe is low. Conserving Tolland President and founder Roseann Kellner Gottier said that the issue has become important for the region and is glad the lecture was well-attended. © Gannett Co., Inc. 2020. “My heart was saying, ‘Maybe this is it,’ ” he recalls. “What we do not have is a secure predator corridor.”. This morning at 5 am driving on route 4 just before Lewis Mills high school in Burlington I saw what appeared to be a mountain lion! "I think it's good he attended," Gottier said of Littell. Officially, the last mountain lions were hunted to extinction here in the late 1800s. Rumors of their hidden presence persisted. CHELMSFORD -- A mysterious creature is afoot in town, and some residents believe it to be a mountain lion, roaming the area. There also should have been evidence of animals killed by the predators and roadkill. Sometimes people feared fishers (erroneously attributing the blood-curdling screams of foxes to these hard-to-spot creatures), and in the late 1930s, after several animals were slain under strange circumstances in Glastonbury, the Hartford Courant dubbed the lion-like creature supposedly responsible, the Glawackus. However, that doesn’t mean that mountain lion sightings are all false or that there haven’t been roaming cats sighted. Possible mountain lion sighting?! Until now. That’s only a fraction of the supposed sightings. To answer these and other questions about sightings of mountain lions, I turned to DEEP’s Rego, who has investigated many purported cougar sightings over the past three decades. “Almost every state has some sort of legend of something that’s hiding somewhere,” he says. More recently, unexplained animal sightings in Connecticut and other states became more and more associated with mountain lions. However, wildlife officials say residents should keep an eye on their pets just in case this does turn out to be an official sighting. For decades afterward, there were reported sightings of the mythical creature prowling the woods around town. “I’m confident that we get occasional outlier animals.”. Enter your email to receive our free weekly newsletter: You have permission to edit this article. Young pumas dispersing from Western habitats are being killed at the source, compromising the East’s critical opportunity for ecosystem health and the return of an apex carnivore.”, Regardless of where they are found, or whether people want to hunt or protect them, people are enchanted by mountain lions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nevitably, the New England states will acknowledge that they have some mountain lions.". Therefore, there are no "western" and "eastern" species to differentiate between. Sometimes referred to as the ghosts of the forest, mountain lions or cougars are stealthy hunters that are hard to spot, even in areas they are known to inhabit. “If you have a worldview in which the government is conspiring to do weird stuff, than that’s what you’re going to see, and all the evidence is going to point to exactly what you believe,” he says. Rumors of their hidden presence persisted. (Throughout history, people have had a deep fear of these creatures, hounding and hunting them mercilessly.) That said, do you hope this mountain lion sighting means that the Eastern Cougar isn’t extinct. MONROE, CT — Two Monroe residents reported possibly seeing a mountain lion roaming town last week. The next week, on June 11, the cat was hit and killed by an, on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Milford. I mean, if the Coelacanth raised itself from the dead… A confirmed cougar sighting hasn’t happened in CT since 2011, when someone hit one with their car. Honestly, those of us with green thumbs definitely don’t mind if these big cats pick off a few. For decades, wildlife experts should have been seeing occasional scat and paw prints in the winter. MassWildlife notes only two documented cases suggestion a mountain lion had recently been present in the state. "�But despite many reported sightings every year, the reports are either not supported by any evidence, or the evidence proves the report to be a case of misidentification. That said, do you hope this mountain lion sighting means that the Eastern Cougar isn’t extinct. He published his first book in 1959, The Ghost of North America: The Story of the Eastern Panther. Monroe Animal Control got reports of sightings on Wrabel Circle and Turkey Roost Road, according to the Connecticut Post. Email editor@connecticutmag.com, or contact us on Facebook @connecticutmagazine or Twitter @connecticutmag. 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