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Creatures, Myths & Legends

'Extinct' cougars sighted in North Carolina

By T.K. Randall
March 21, 2019 · Comment icon 27 comments

Do cougars still roam the wilds of North Carolina ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Eric Kilby
Several people have come forward to report cougar sightings despite the cats being extinct in the state.
The spate of reports emerged on Saturday when chef Billy Hensley made a post on a Bigfoot research Facebook page claiming that he had seen a cougar near Nebo in western North Carolina.

"I know I'll catch some flack for this," he wrote. "But I will swear this to my grave: I have seen a cougar not once but twice in Nebo in the past month or so."

His sighting was soon joined by several more from other social media users who also believed that they had witnessed one of the animals in the region.

"I've seen one about a half mile from my house in Green Mountain - which is in Yancey County," wrote Kim Owens-Mayhew. "Definitely a cougar, like you saw... I've seen bobcats too and they're not even close to the same size, length, and of course the tails are different."
Another user, Tiffinay Al-Maqtari, also remained adamant that the cats were still out there.

"I think it's condescending and dismissive when wildlife biologists or whoever say that they aren't around when people obviously are seeing them," she wrote. "There was one outside of my son's school once and all the kids saw it. They are just incredibly elusive."

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission however is not convinced.

"There are no known cougars in North Carolina," Jodie Owens told The News and Observer.

"We get lots of reports every year from folks who think they've seen a cougar. Usually, it's a house cat, bobcat, coyote, even dogs or black bears that have been misidentified as cougars."

Source: News Observer | Comments (27)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by Cryptid_Control 5 years ago
My god can we just agree there's cougars everywhere, they seem to be a controversy everywhere! As a hunter in Nova Scotia, I, and every other hunter can confirm no matter what wikipedia says there are cougars here. There's dozens of samples of scat in the basement of the museum that have never been tested or are being ignored and it's still considered extinct. Now I'm hearing they believe it never existed in the first place! Big cats in places they shouldn't be seems to be the largest mystery surrounding cryptids out there nowadays.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Farmer77 5 years ago
I believe there is, or was, some genetic distinction between eastern and western cougars.
Comment icon #20 Posted by stereologist 5 years ago
There were 3 subspecies: western, eastern, and the Florida panther.
Comment icon #21 Posted by kel_kel 5 years ago
I believe them, most people can tell the difference between a house cat and a cougar for pete sakes! 
Comment icon #22 Posted by khazarkhum 5 years ago
That's a youngster, too, not much more than a kitten. You can still see spots and hints of stripes,the markings of an immature cougar.This suggests that there's a viable breeding population, 
Comment icon #23 Posted by khazarkhum 5 years ago
Especially in a bar!
Comment icon #24 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 5 years ago
Oh, yeah.. This is one of America's biggest secrets - wildcats in North Carolina. Hehummm. That's why the football team is called the Carolina Panthers    Who knew!?
Comment icon #25 Posted by Robotic Jew 5 years ago
That's a well fed housecat...
Comment icon #26 Posted by Old_Mil 5 years ago
The Iowa DNR maintained that they were extinct in the state as well.  There have only been 25 confirmed sightings in the state in the past couple of decades.  Two in Des Moines itself.  Now the official line is that they are a native species of the state, hunted to extinction in 1880 and coming back. Given their protected status west of the Rockies, it's not a surprise that overpopulation in those states is driving them east.
Comment icon #27 Posted by HSlim 5 years ago
Interesting.  I still see cougars all over the place.  Especially in bars and shopping malls.

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