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Wildlife Mythbusters

Jan 5

Written by:
1/5/2012 9:08 AM  RssIcon

Joe Schmoe knows a guy who knows guy whose brother was a game warden who swears when he was on staff at the Wildlife Commission, biologists dropped dozens of rattlesnakes from helicopters. Many folks tell this story.

Sometimes, the story is “legitimized” by adding details:  Wildlife dropped the snakes (with parachutes?) to control the deer population, and the rattler-stocking project was conducted under the cover of night from black, stealth helicopters to stay off the public’s radar screen.

Still others weave a tale of biologists wanting to replenish a dwindling population of rattlesnakes in Hanging Rock State Park.

Sounds exciting. Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on how much you like snakes — it’s not true. This is one of a few rumors that circulate around North Carolina, despite the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s  persistent efforts to quash them.

Some also believe the Commission released coyotes to control the deer population. Also a myth. Coyotes arrived in North Carolina as a result of natural range expansion from neighboring states. They established a sustainable population by the mid-1980s, and, by 2004, coyotes lived in every county in North Carolina.

Finally, one of the most tenacious rumors regards cougars (also called panthers and mountain lions). The Wildlife Commission receives dozens of calls reporting sightings every year. Nearly all are unconfirmed, and many turn out to be bobcats, deer, foxes or coyotes — all of which are common in North Carolina.

All confirmed sightings since 1950 turn out to be escaped captive animals, kept as pets. The wild eastern cougar has been extinct in North Carolina for many years.

Occasionally, the myth pops up that the Commission, or some other government agency, released cougars to control the feral pig population. This is not true.

158 comment(s) so far...


Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I have observed and believe coyote's migration East was greatly enhanced by unscrupulous hunters smuggling them East because they present a challenging quarry for hounds. Some arrests have been made for this.

By John Kennedy on   1/9/2012 8:51 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Does the NCWRC have any plans to restore cougars to NC?

By Chris C on   1/11/2012 8:35 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Chris C,
The eastern cougar is considered extinct east of the Mississippi River, and there are no plans, either in North Carolina or federally, to reintroduce it.

By NCWRC blogger on   1/18/2012 9:25 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I am sick of this site and others saying absolutely that some animals are distinct in certain areas. Just a few months ago Rick Savage was on national tv in NC digging up artifacts when his high dollar professional cameras captured a Cougar ,maybe 25 yards from them. Even when on professional camera, it does not exist. The Wildlife administrations have NO credibility.

Also, I viewed a Melanistic phase Jaguar on Route 12 through Hatteras Island , NC in April of this year. Several others have been sighted recently.

Today, I got a call from a woman that saw a 50 lb young Cougar right here on Hatteras Island in here front yard for over 20 minutes.

Ignorance cannot explain those defying their existence, it must have to do something with having to meet federal requirements if you find big cats in your area.

By Randy Cullinan on   6/13/2012 9:17 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Driving up through Vanceboro at 2 in the morning... I know I saw a large Panther or cougar... The animal had a 15 to 20 foot stride... The tail was long and didnt seem to move as it took across highway 43..lightning fast....tannish... I just don't know for sure...i was sober as a rock...help anyone?

By jimbo. on   10/9/2012 4:55 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Driving up through Vanceboro at 2 in the morning... I know I saw a large Panther or cougar... The animal had a 15 to 20 foot stride... The tail was long and didnt seem to move as it took across highway 43..lightning fast....tannish... I just don't know for sure...i was sober as a rock...help anyone?

By jimbo. on   10/9/2012 4:56 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

So if someone was to shoot said extinct cougar what would be the penality? Would there be a penality?

By Scott on   1/4/2013 3:23 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

The cougar is a protected species in North Carolina, so, yes, there would be a penalty.

By NCWRC blogger on   1/4/2013 3:26 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

WRC may not have dropped coyotes here, but their own reports show coyotes showing up in NC first in Wake and Johnston Cos., and Beaufort and Hyde Cos., not migration into border cos. They didn't fly there. They were illegally imported.

By Scott Mooneyham on   1/4/2013 9:32 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

So why would there be a penalty or even protection on the books if Eastern Cougars are indeed "extinct" east of the Mississippi.

Big cats are mysterious and shy...dont want to be seen so they are not. Wasnt too long ago they said a Jaguar couldn't possibly be in Texas, they as the NCWRC thought it was an escaped captive cat. It wasnt it was a wild make cat expanding his range.

By Hillbilly Wizard on   1/5/2013 6:25 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I have seen the cougar in Rockingham County and have seen wolves as well. I think it's great that our wildlife is returning to NC. But I think they are being helped here not by migration but by man.

By Brian on   2/11/2013 8:45 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Yep, heard that dropping rattlesnakes from helicopters up in Ashe last year (2012)

By JD Lynn on   2/22/2013 11:27 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

you can call all these sightings as false if you want, but last year I took my dog outside for potty and he ran off porch fast as he could to back of our fench in back yard. I ran behind him, and there on other side was a Panther. It wasnot a bobcat. This cat had long hair and a very long tail. Just two weeks ago, I saw another one (maybe same one) cross highway in front of me. (same description) p.s. (I donot drink and drive)

By mike patterson on   4/30/2013 7:42 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I know without a doubt mountain lions are alive and well in NC! I have seen them and heard them in the Laurel Springs area. So, if cougars are really "extinct" in NC; then somebody needs to tell them that, because apparently the cougars didn't get the memo.

By Dawn on   4/30/2013 9:11 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I have a picture on my cell of a cougar track behind our new house in Hubert.....it is about 4 inches by 3 inches....you can't tell me that's a bobcat! We just moved from Vermont 3 months ago and I have seen bobcats and their tracks. This one is 10 times bigger. Is it possible its a cougar or maybe a lynx?

By Wendi on   6/14/2013 10:09 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I have a picture on my cell of a cougar track behind our new house in Hubert.....it is about 4 inches by 3 inches....you can't tell me that's a bobcat! We just moved from Vermont 3 months ago and I have seen bobcats and their tracks. This one is 10 times bigger. Is it possible its a cougar or maybe a lynx?

By Wendi on   6/14/2013 6:46 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I'm not sure whether it is a bob cat or a cougar where I live in Seven Springs. I have seen this animal twice when its between 7-830 pm. Its fast and clears my driveway from one side to the other. Its the size of a large dog. I couldn't find any tracks to confirm what it could be. I'm a hunter and it kind of freaks me out beings I have outdoor pets. I think I am going to try to get pictures next time I see it.

By Rebecca on   6/19/2013 8:20 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I think that I may have a couple of pics of a mountain lion from trail cam all the way on the east coast in Pamlico county. I know this would be highly unlikely. It sort of alarmed me at first, and the pics are not the best but I really do not think that it is a picture of a bobcat at all. Of course I am neither a biologist nor an expert in cat species at all. It has a long fat tail and what appears to be uniform markings. Who can I submit the photos to for review?

By Me on   6/21/2013 11:43 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Photos can be sent to photos@ncwildlife.org.

By NCWRC blogger on   6/21/2013 11:47 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I have a cast of what appears to be a cougar track i found in my garden last month. It is 4 inches by 4 inches and from what i have seen pictures of online appears to match a cougar track. I recently meet a guy who raises Great Dane dogs and showed the cast to him, he said it is NO WAY it is a Great Dane, that it is much larger than a Great Dane track. Are there other breeds of dogs with possibly bigger feet, maybe a wolf? I live in Rowan County.

By Dwayne on   8/14/2013 11:04 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I know for a fact that there is at least one mountain lion in nantahala state park in macon county. The first time my boyfriend and I went hiking to one of the falls we saw tracks much larger than dogs that looked to be cougar. We shrugged it off and figured it was a large dog. The second time we brought a machete and our german shepherd mix. Upon entering the trail hikers on their way back told us to be careful because they heard something large breaking tree limbs along the trail. We assured them we would be fine as we had our dog and a weapon. But once we made it a quarter of the way in we heard a very deep growl to our right , much deeper than a bobcats growl. My boyfriend was ahead and looked to his right and there was a large mountain lion staring down at him from a crouched position in some brush on the ledge. My boyfriend waved us back and held up his machete while staring back at it. Instead of running away it growled again and and we loudly and slowly made our way back the way we came while reassuring our spooked dog and making sure we werent followed. We've seen bobcats before and this was at least twice the size with a massive head and thick body. Not at all a bobcat. We reported it to the state park and heard nothing back.

By lyndsay on   8/26/2013 6:57 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Have to agree with most here. This certainty that cougars/panthers are extinct in NC is just plain wrong. One was dead on the side of the road a year or two ago, and a LEO was parked nearby and checking it out. Never made the paper. We have recently in my area begun seeing large dogs disappearing from yards, and worse, one case where 4 pit bulls chained in a back yard were shredded to pieces, with one literally ripped out of its collar. One night a couple were killed, another two a week later. And much of the carcasses were missing. The local vet wont say so on record, but he viewed the pics and stated he was quite certain it was the work of a large cat. They're here.

By Paul on   9/7/2013 9:50 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

There are large cats in ashe county. I could care less what anyone says. Call me a fool. Call me a liar. Tell me I was seeing things. I don't care what you call them, cougar, mountain lion, panther, etc. These are not bobcats. They are not deer, and they are not coyotes. I have hunted and killed all three of these "excuses". I have seen three mountain lions within a mile of the river bridge on hwy 16 north in the past 15 years. All of these sightings were between 1a.m. and 5a.m. I saw two adults and one juvenile. I was not drinking, I was not on drugs. I was not sleepy. I do not have a wild imagination. They were there, and I saw them. The first one I saw came out of nowhere, landed in the highway one time near the center line, and never touched the ground again within the glow of my headlights. It was fast, way faster than a deer. Plus when it was stretched out leaping it pretty much took up a whole lane of the road. The "baby" was quite large, easily bigger than a large bobcat, but definitely smaller than the other two i saw. This was last year on my way to work about 4:30 one morning heading towards town. If you are familiar with the bridge i am talking about you know the big concrete wall they built? It gets really tall, then comes down to a point about 5 or 6 feet off the ground, then gets really tall again. The smaller cat came off the bank from this low point about 50 yds in front of me, saw me coming, scrambled around kind of like a squirrel in the road trying to decide which way to go, then jumped straight back towards the wall and disappeared in this low spot right as i passed it. I beg someone to tell me I'm wrong. Why do the game wardens want to hide the fact that these cats are here, what does it matter? Personally I think its kind of cool.

By BTJ on   9/26/2013 7:30 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

A species may become functionally extinct when only a handful of individuals survive, which cannot reproduce due to poor health, age, sparse distribution over a large range, a lack of individuals of both sexes (in sexually reproducing species), or other reasons.

By Greg on   10/10/2013 5:24 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I've decently saw two cougars in Alexander county in 2000, they were across river, they were walking at quick pace as lions in Africa do, about 10 yards between them in open field,virgin area full of wildlife!! Saw tracks chasing deer tracks, looked up tracks online definitely cougars!!!

By Terry foster on   10/19/2013 11:01 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

To the guy who said Laure springs nc in allenghany county I believe you . A few years back i saw on the blue ridge parkway near glade creek 30 or so miles away what I though was the longest body deer I had ever seen. So I stop backed up and the cougar walk away. So yes if there are none in North Carolina they need to tell the cougars to get out

By David Simons on   10/22/2013 6:07 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I got a chuckle about the rattlesnake parachute story but what is most funny is the addition of "staying off the public's radar". The government does what they damn well please and if they wanted to stock snakes they would announce it, deliver them in brand new flamboyant trucks using thousands of employees that first took numerous seminars in Las Vegas and Hawaii on being arrogant!

By Jeff on   11/3/2013 10:32 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I just saw a mountain lion about 1 hour ago, in the field by my house. I'm about 6 miles from downtown Asheville in a rural area. I've heard them scream in years past but never saw one until tonight while out hunting my little dog. I was about 20'-25' feet from him/her, looking slightly down. Saw the eyes reflect the light from my flashlight first I moved a few feet back & forth trying to see the animal but couldn't make it out. Am used to critters being out at night so wasn't too worried and turned slightly away. That's when it walked out of the shadows into the moonlight....I froze! Quickly gathered my wits, kept light on it & backed into my driveway and scooted to the porch screeching for the pooch....who finally came!

By Janet Frye, AIFD on   11/14/2013 9:33 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

SPOTTED A COUGAR IN THE CITY OF GREENSBORO N.C.ABOUT 3 YRS AGO.WAS TOLD BY WILDLIFE FEDERATION IF I SHOT IT.I WOULD BE FINED FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!

By T.MOORE on   12/2/2013 7:29 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

about 2 months ago Oct 2013 a large cougar was ran over on 220 bypass in the N bound lane about 1-2 miles before the hwy 62 exit.
About 2 years ago a friend of mine and myself were riding a atv and to our suprise somewhere in the cutover off Staleys Farm rd Asheboro we heard a mountain lion yell at us it was the last thing from our minds but when we heard it there was no mistaking what it was I visit the zoo and have heard lions roar,bobcats scream,and cougars yell it was a cougar one of the neighbors nearby also heard it and also said it was a cougar and he knew the call from his childhood in Texas
Randolph co. NC has cougars no bull

By Tim on   1/5/2014 9:52 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I am law enforcement officer in the east I have observed a Black cougar in the summer of 2013. I have 15 years experience in law enforcement. The sighting occurred in the early afternoon. I was driving a patrol vehicle when I and the officer next to me observed a black cougar cross a paved road and continue down a rock road. I was within 40 yards of the cat. I know what it was. I have hunted and trapped thought out my life, i have 30 years in the woods. I've taken bobcats and many other animals. I even own a black domesticated cat. It was not a jaguar illegally released illegally. It was not a misidentication. I know animals it was a cougar. It was black. They exist and wildlife officers know it. Extinct my ass!

By ,Kevin on   1/6/2014 12:16 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Im sitting on the couch right beside a cougar as I type.

By caleb mitchell on   1/11/2014 8:05 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I can assure you there are cougars in nc we live on the johnston/harnett county line and only a week ago me and my wife saw from the kitchen window a cougar stalking a deer into a wooded area we were in awe to say the least we live in a very remote area and see lots of wildlife including cyotes turkey deer fox you name it we got it but we never thought this now we know what happened to our roosters and hens think what you want we know what we saw they are among us

By keith ripley on   2/7/2014 12:48 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I saw a panther in my driveway. im at the top of the mountain on the other side of a nature conservatory in WNC. back in November 2013 he stared right at me. scared the piss outta me..... and I think its ironic that you say there are no confirmed sightings however its a protected species. and how can one prove the existence of a panther without the panther?! so if someone shot one and proved their existence, they would be fined? for proving the experts wrong..... all I know if a cat attacks me I wouldn't hesitate to shoot it. but instead of misinforming people, you need to let people know that there is at least A CHANCE that these cats are out and about - when tourists start getting eaten up while camping in the blue ridge , maybe then that would be enough proof for Raleigh.

By michelle on   2/8/2014 1:57 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

This deer season I observed a cat that for all the world looked like a serval cat which is a wild African cat. Now, I'm sure of what I saw but does that mean that we have an indigenous population of serval cats in the Blue Ridge mountains??? No, I think not! Large cats are reported every year but if any are around my guess is that they like the cat I saw, an escape from a private zoo or collector. I spend as much or more time in the woods as anyone I know and I've seen several bobcats but nothing that resembles an eastern cougar. No tracks that would fit the bill either.

By Randy Roland on   2/28/2014 8:19 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

In 1971 between Winterville and Ayden NC my father brother and myself observed a cougar on that farm. We had a bunch of dogs there and we would hear them n the woods yelp like they were hurt then come up missing. When we went in the woods to find them we would find hair and a few bones.
We went hunting them one day and while we watched one enter the woods in front of us another came upbehind us through the corn field. So we didnt hunt them anymore. Our weapons weren,t sufficient. I assure u there r cougar here.

By Beth on   3/9/2014 11:24 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Today in Grimesland near my home a coworker and myself saw at a fairly close distance a cougar. We know of none that have been released into the area nor escaped. 3/11/14 at 9:05 am.just thought you should know.

By Robert Stewart on   3/11/2014 3:32 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

If a wildlife officer doesn't see it, it must not exist. My wife and children spotted what they called a "bobcat" in a church parking lot next to the children's playground and, upon seeing them, would not leave. I have advised them this is very dangerous in that if a cat doesn't run away, it is likely going to attack. They moved to the front parking lot and called wildlife personnel, who took a very long time to arrive, and advised. The wildlife officers would not even go to the back side parking lot or entertain their comments, simply driving off unconcerned.
Here's the kicker...my children were excited telling me about how tall it was its pretty tan coat and long pretty tail. I pulled up a pic of a bobcat and they vehemently said it wasn't that cat. I pulled up a cougar/mtn lion pic and they immediately said "Yes, that's it!". This, from my son who, at the age of 8, could name various types of birds which fed in our back yard.
One year later, an acquaintance in the same part of town was tracking one around his neighborhood. The cat would dart out of sight immediately after he would see it, but he saw enough to confirm our story...it's a cougar/mtn lion. So, NC Wildlife, if you're too lazy to get out of the truck, then be lazy enough not to post heresay on your website.

By MShawn on   3/12/2014 8:46 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I have recently encountered a cougar aka mountain lion in our back yard. It killed our dog and is continuing to kill every animal we have on our property. I have contacted everybody I can think of from our local animal control services to nc wildlife and no one wants to do anything about it our considers it as a joke. but this is no joking matter. but my question to you is this . if the predator cat is extinct then how can it federally protected .... makes no sense to me. I mean lets say the cats are extinct . can it not be a possibility that another type has migrated here? just curious

By Kerrie Pruitt on   3/13/2014 3:42 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

We have had cougars in the neighborhood, on cell phone photos, and have photographed beautiful tracks and scat. It gave us all chills, they are around the foothills of NC, definitely. No one will admit it because they would have to be protected.

By Cb on   3/22/2014 1:26 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

We have had cougars in the neighborhood, on cell phone photos, and have photographed beautiful tracks and scat. It gave us all chills, they are around the foothills of NC, definitely. No one will admit it because they would have to be protected.

By Cb on   3/22/2014 1:33 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I seen one in pamlico beach nc i have herd them they sound like a baby crying the one i seen a black one dragin a deer carcas across the road he dropped it wen he seen my truck and it had a long long tail. Vary shy animals i ask a game warden if i seen one can i shot it and he said no or i would be find but right before.That he sid they aint real.

By franky on   3/29/2014 7:21 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Iv also been siting cams up if i get a pic of one il put it online but i think the only way is to shot one to get undeniable. Prof but i dont really want to kill one im ahunter but there is something magical. About that cat i and i think its bad luck to kill something magical im vary superstitious lol

By franky on   3/29/2014 7:37 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

People think they say Mountain Lions because they want to see a Mountain Lion. For there to be True Wild Mountain Lions in NC there would have to be a breeding pair. There would be dead ones on the road (that haven't been declawed because it was a pet). What amazes me is that with all the Cougars NC supposedly has there aren't any verified pictures of them. Some above on one of the post said a mountain lion was in a ladies yard for 20 minutes. Where is the picture. If you dont have a camera in this day and age than I don't believe a word that comes out of your mouth.

By Mr Cougar on   4/7/2014 1:52 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

No pictures, but I have seen a black panther and cougar in Jones and Lenoir Counties...

By Teddye on   4/23/2014 7:57 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Liar Liar Pants on Fire! What a stupid cover up! First of all, most people know the difference between a canine and a feline! Second of all, the term, cougar, puma, black panther, Mountain Lion, are all the same animal, given different names by different tribes of Indians and white people in the early days. Secondly, I use to live in NC, Lake Lure area, way out in the boonies. I had to move because a den of Lions was practically living in my front yard! I saw them. My daughter saw them,we almost got eaten on several occasions, my son's girlfriend almost got eaten. Our precious sassy, a beautiful long haired cat, was killed by one of them. Most of the locals has seen them. They all look a little different so you usually can tell if you are looking at the same lion or not! Some are black a rare thing caused by a gene mutation, some are darker in color etc.. The first time I encountered on on my front porch, I called the sheriffs office, they said, "Well, we have been having trouble with them lately. Been trapping them and taking them farther up the mountain and dropping them off." I said, "How far up the mountain?" He said, "oh about 5 to 10 miles or so." I laughed and said, "So all you did was take them from one side of their territory to another part of their normal territory! That's kind a like taking a man from their front yard to the back yard and telling him not to return home any more! Have you any idea how large a lion's territory is? What you really did was let them know that humans are not a threat! Now they will hunt us! We are not on the top of the food chain you know what I mean?" Then I called the NC Wildlife commission, who tried their best to convince me about that they no longer exist in NC! Told him I had called a pathologist to come take Sassy's body to prove she was killed by one. Got a visit from a sherrif who wanted me to tell him where Sassy's body was buried and all our encounters. Two days later, they dug up her body & stole it! She was wrapped in her favorite blanket & placed in a Black thick trash bag, then placed in a hole in her favorite sunning place. We saw them out there and chased them down our mile long lane! All that was left behind was a hole with the dirt mounded beside it. The shovel marks were very evident! Called NC Commission back angry this time. They kept saying, it was just an animal that dug her up! There are coyotes who can dig a neat hole. The eastern cougar is extinct in NC! I finally said, "Okay, have it your way! I'm just gonna round up some of the local hunters and we are gonna hunt and kill those lions that do not exist and dig a hole that doesn't exist and bury them in it!" He just went ballistic! He started screaming hysterically, "IF KILL EVEN ONE OF OUR MOUNTAIN LIONS, I WILL PROSECUTE ALL OF YOU TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW! THEY ARE A PROTECTED SPECIES IN NORTH CAROLINA AND YOU ALL WILL SPEND THE REST OF YOUR LIVES IN PRISON!" HE WENT ON AND ON IN this horrific rage! Finally, he shut up and I very quietly said, "Pray tell sir, just EXACTLY how are you gonna prosecute me for killing Mountain Lions that do not even exist? That would kind of be a hard trick sir, REQUIRING YOU TO ADMIT THAT; 1.NOT ONLY HAVE YOU KNOWN FOR A VERY LONG TIME THAT,THEY DO EXIST IN RATHER LARGE NUMBERS, BUT YOUR OFFICE HAS BEEN ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN A PROGRAM TO RESTORE THE EASTERN MOUNTAIN LION POPULATION IN NORTH CAROLINA! AND 2,) THAT YOUR OFFICE HAS BEEN ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN A COVER UP OF THE FACT THAT THE POPULATION HAS BEEN RESTORED AND 3. THAT THEY ARE A DANGEROUS THREAT TO ANY HUMAN WITHIN MILES OF THEIR HUNTING GROUNDS!" He says in a very small voice, "Now why would we do that?" I say, "Because this state has lost it's only major industry, that being the textile industry, to the mass United States exodus of nearly all it's major industries to 3rd world countries, paid for by our federal dollars in a covert operation to destroy our financial economy, as we have done in many other countries with the sole purpose of gaining control of that country." He said, "What does that have to do with any type of cover up of the Lion Population?" I said, "because the only industry you have left is the value of your land, it's beauty, and selling these mountains, and the extravagant resorts to rich retirees and other rich folks! It is very beautiful here, but just how far would land value drop if all those families knew that there are dangerous predators and we humans are not on the top of the food chain! You have the HGTV DREAM HOME, being built just miles from me this very year, another tourism and land value boosting event! If it got out this year about the cougar threat, all those posters of missing children down at the local grocery stores would suddenly become national news frighting away all those dollars flooding into North Carolina would stop! Land values would drop! Tourism would drop! it's all economics! You have to keep it a secrete! So what if a few humans die this year because they do not know that hiking in these mountains may be a beautiful thing, but may also cost them their lives! In fact, you are building resorts and homes at an alarming rate, tearing up these mountains so fast that soon those lions will be moving right down the mountain and into the cities! Folks here are not safe even on their front porch!" He didn't say another word! I got a few more visits from the sheriff's office, who pointed out to me the tons of pacing lion tracks found circling my home in a methodically pattern, along with scat as well. he admitted that I may be right that we were being targeted by a den of lions. he said they would only let him take cubs away. Several days later, 2 lions jumped from the gully just below our porch at us, we and our pets barely made it into the house before getting killed. We sat on the floor with our backs hold the door closed, in a stste of fear, listening to the anger of the lions. They were so angry at missing a meal that they had gone into the gully, roaring very loudly for about 20 minutes. The next day the sheriff and I went into the gully to look for evidence that the lions had been there. He said, "Oh my Gosh, when he saw this large tree that they had shredded to pieces the day before, mostly likely when they were throwing that roaring fit. The tree had claw marks more than 6" deep. There was no bark left on it. There was no way the tree could survive this attack. That's when I realized that we had been sleeping & hiding in a home with nothing between us and the lions other than the screens on our large, to the floor windows and our many double doors. We mostly left them open night and day because the mountain breeze was enough to stay cool, rather than turning on the central air. One swipe of a lion's massive claws and he would have access into our home. We moved 45 minutes down the mountain several days later to escape the danger of the lions. I knew it was only a matter of time before one of our family members would be killed. Our neighbors also moved for the same reason. They were in the process of being prosecuted for animal abuse when I told them about the lions. Their little 6 pound dog had been found with stab marks in it's eye and face. They took him to the emergency vet who reported them! But when I told them about the lions, they looked at their exterior/interior doggy door and found it shredded, just like the tree. They called both the vet and the prosecutor with pictures of their doggy door, the shredded tree, along with the information we gave them and all charges were dropped with an apology from the vet. The vet told them that the e-rays were consistent with the claw marks and puncture wound straight through the eye. With the evidence at hand the vet ascertained that the dog approached the doggy door where a lion lay waiting. When the dog got close enough, a lion reached through the doggy door into the house and grabbed the dog with it's claw, & attempted to drag it out the door. But the dog was able to break free and run out of the range of the lions massive arm and paw. The dog will remain scarred and blind for the rest of it's life but made an otherwise full recovery. The vet said that with the miss assumption that lions did not exist in North Carolina, animal abuse was the only thing they thought that could have caused such injuries. Shame on NC government officials for hiding the truth from everyone for the sake of the almighty dollar, which in our country holds far more value than the lives & safety of it's people! When I think of how close we came within harm's way of these non-existent lions, I see the posters in the local stores of a little boy who had ridden from his parents home, down a lane to his grandparents home, but never made it. They found his bike on the side of the lane, but never found this bright little 8 year boy who I know probably met his fate when he was stalked by the lions. People have the right to know so they can take safety measures. Do you think that missing little boy's parents/grandparents would have let him ride alone down that quarter of a mile lane if they knew there were lions in their midst? No way! Own up to the truth NC! People have the right to make informed decisions about their safety and the safety of their loved ones!

By Shylo57 on   5/4/2014 12:33 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

well idk what it is species wise but there is a very large black cat in denver n.c lake norman area. across from the power plant on 73.

By jeffery on   5/4/2014 3:12 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I have posted above about my previous sighting of a black (Melanistic) Jaguar on Hatteras Island, just north of Oregon Inlet. I have followed closely every site I could find where people discuss sightings of big cats.

I can separate the into 3 clear categories.

Mountain Lions in the normal brown or tan hues.
Mountain Lions with gray, even dark grey on the topsides and possibly further down on the body.
Melanistic Jaquar that is almost entirely BLACK, not dark grey, not smokey gray, but BLACK. They have patterning on the body but it cannot be seen without the light being just right.

Most all of us that have studied the topic KNOW there are populations of breeding Mountain Lions in N,C. Most tree based deer hunters have viewed them in the wild, often with a standard color with a smokey companion.

I suspect the ration of mountain lions to Jaquars in NC is at least several hundred to one of a Jaquar, but sightings of black Jaguars are seen in other states as well. It is MUCH more careful not to be seen than a Mountain Lion that often will stand its ground against people not protected by auto or home.

Anyone that is in an area where cats are rumored should look carefully at the footprints shown for each of these animals and consider printing it out and keeping it with them.Footprints should be measured and photographed and if possible, protected from the elements, and seen by as many witnesses as possible before someone could destroy it.

Concerning the truly BLACK CATS, I would love to add your sighting to my unofficial map of sightings and hear what you witnessed. randy@predatorfishingsystems.com

By Randy Cullinan on   5/15/2014 9:46 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Saw a cougar in the 1980s in western NC (up at Wiseman view) I am from South Florida and know what a cougar looks like. Eating out of dumpster, at least 100 lbs and tan. Was on back of pick up truck and he couldn't have been 10 feet away. Not sure who was more surprised.



By cafecito on   5/29/2014 3:54 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Outside Franklin, NC in Upper Burningtown my grandfather and I saw a black cougar take down one of our Turkeys in the front yard. It was about 11 o'clock and we heard the struggle, so we grabbed the spotlight and saw it carrying the tom into the woods. we found what was left of the turkey but no tracks.

By ThisKittyGotClaws on   6/8/2014 4:18 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Not surprised to see other accounts after my friend spotting one on his street he thought was a dog until it got up and ran. Obviously feline, they run totally different than dogs. Their bear population hasnt even been updated since 2010. The map then is obviously not accurate now by a long shot. Hype about bears in more than one area they declared not inhabited by bears on news with photos,etc prove that,they sure as heck dont want to admit cougars are around. Took years to admit to the coyotes. I dont think they even do their homework. They just dont see them on a 9 to 5 schedule, cats are nocturnal

By anomymous on   6/17/2014 12:25 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Not surprised to see other accounts after my friend spotting one on his street he thought was a dog until it got up and ran. Obviously feline, they run totally different than dogs. Their bear population hasnt even been updated since 2010. The map then is obviously not accurate now by a long shot. Hype about bears in more than one area they declared not inhabited by bears on news with photos,etc prove that,they sure as heck dont want to admit cougars are around. Took years to admit to the coyotes. I dont think they even do their homework. They just dont see them on a 9 to 5 schedule, cats are nocturnal

By anomymous on   6/17/2014 12:25 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Saw a cougar jump the road in front of me 2 nights ago on my way into work around 10:15pm in Andrews, NC. There was another sighting, possibly the same one, the next day in Robbinsville, NC on Long Creek Road.

By Obx on   6/18/2014 10:49 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I happened upon this site while looking up contacts for Game Wardens in NC. What strikes me as funny is the fact that there is a penalty for shooting cougars. Which apparently are NOT THERE. This sounds like government double-speak. "There are NO cougars here. But if you shoot one - that is not here - you will pay a penalty."

By From Virginia on   7/10/2014 2:12 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

There are no mountain lions in western north Carolina. I have hunted all over the united states and have seen mountain lion kills and sign, never seen any of this in western north Carolina. Most of WNC doesn't support enough wildlife to sustain mountain lions, the average male cougar will consume its body weight of meat weekly. Look at all the hounds that are hunted in north Carolina yearly doesn't it stand too reason if they were here someone would eventually tree one?? I keep hounds and have tried to get people to show me where these cats are not to kill them but to tree one. Proof is in the pudding lets get a track and tree it so we will know.

By no cats here on   7/15/2014 9:22 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live in Franklin county GA. I was going to the store last week and cam arount the corner on a secluded dirt road. There was what I though was a dear going over the fence. But on closer look it had a long tail. The animal in question slinked over the fence and disappeared in the tall grass. Now we see dear all of the time and you can usually see them bound away in the grass getting away from you. This animal slinked over that fence as if he was trying not to be noticed. There was a long tail as I watched it go. But there are no mountain lions in GA. I am from So CA and have seen big cats! We had a 10 month old Male that was stalking the kindergarten children at a school before the animal control shot it. But I am a woman if I reported it well it would be my imagination as every one knows blonds are historical. My friends believe me and a male friend did see a large black panther on the other end of that road. The government will not tell you the truth if they are relocating big cats to this area because people would get hysterical about it or start shooting them.

By Marie Coyle on   7/25/2014 11:52 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I a a mountain man,And the cougar that was stalking me in Granville co. was real

By whetton on   8/27/2014 4:18 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Saw a large black cat yesterday evening around 6:30 pm. Long and lean with a long tail. Just strolled across our drive. We live in Watauga county, Sugar Grove, NC area on the Watauga River. "They're here" living among us.

By Rick Montgomery on   8/31/2014 10:12 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

There has been a female cougar --sounds to be in heat-- and at least one male prowling in the Green Hill area of Rutherfordton County for the last several months.

Numerous sightings, clawed trees, tracks, and clear "in heat" calls. Our household saw one in our front lawn last night, and heard the calls again this evening.

Cougars / mountain lions are clearly still in the area.

By Rutherfordton, NC on   9/5/2014 12:45 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

My wife and myself just took our vacation to Cherokee the last week in June 2014. We took some awesome photos of the introduced elk. They are majestic and beautiful animals. We spoke to a couple that lives there, They had a photo of one elk that had been attacked by some kind of predator high on it's shoulder. They said it was a mountain lion. But the park rangers said the same thing, We have no mountain lions in the Cherokee mountains. I think there is. looking at the wounds this elk had. I live in Robeson county and you hear from time to time about people seeing them here also. More reports from folks seeing them on Fort Bragg. I know without a doubt that we have a large enough deer population, and woodlands to accommodate a population of cougars/mountain lions in North Carolina. I respect the WRC, But it is impossible that everyone reporting seeing these animals are all wrong, Or possibly just lying, Or misidentifying what they are seeing. With all due respect, These animals are here living among us.

By A Demery on   9/7/2014 12:40 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

We spotted a solid black panther on the viaduct on the blue ridge parkway probably about 7-8 years ago while leaving a picnic...it jumped down into the road from an embankment on the left and in another bound was gone off the right side of the road and down the cliff.... amazing! Long tail solid black... No question what kind of cat it was...

By elizabeth west on   9/10/2014 8:14 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Agree with the stories about the cats, HWY 53 Onslow and Pender Counties and HWY 17 South Onslow to New Hanover County.......I HAVE SEEN THEM...Extinct my ARSE....

By Snake Charmer on   9/12/2014 1:37 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

About three years ago I saw big tracks in my driveway. I went inside the house and got a tape measure and pencil and paper and drew a picture of one and also measured it. It was 4" wide. I couldn't believe it. I looked up animal tracks on the computer and it matched cougar tracks. Everyone I told about it said it couldn't be a cougar because there is none in this area. I have since covered the driveway with rock.

By from Supply, NC on   9/29/2014 7:10 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live in Gaston County near Crouse NC and two of my small horses have been attacked by something large and orange. Both times it has attacked has been around noon and my daughters have scared it off. Yesterday a friend got a picture of a Mountain Lion about 1 mile from my house. Talked to Wildlife officials and they are skeptical about it being a cat in this area but we do have pictures.

By Insurance Lady on   10/7/2014 9:21 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live in Gaston County near Crouse, NC. Something big and orange has attacked two of my small horses, both times the attack occurred around noon and my daughter has scared it off. Yesterday a friend of mine took a picture of a mountain lion about a mile from my house and a month ago another guy saw one about 4 miles away, so I would say we definitely have 1 or more in my area. Don't care what wildlife officials say because I do have pictures to prove it.

By Insurance Lady on   10/7/2014 9:26 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Has anyone spotted any in Watauga County anywhere near Hwy 421????? Boone, Valle Crucis, Zionville area? We purchased a cabin on over 5 acres of land there this spring, have a 5.13 lb. Yorkie and teen children. We have seen deer, turkey, beaver, raccoon, woodchuck, etc. No Bobcats, bears, or mountain lions. Are they (officials) saying that Mountain Lion sightings in NC are like Big Foot sightings?

By NBinNC on   10/14/2014 8:24 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Sighted a cougar on my driveway today. Beaverdam area of North Asheville. Watched him thru 10x50 binoculars for over a minute. His long tail was twitching. About the size of a Saint Bernard.

By Bees mountain on   10/19/2014 11:38 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

GO DOWN BY THE CREEK ON BECKERDITE RD IN SOPHIA THERE IS ONE ALONG THAT BOTTOM

By MULE on   10/26/2014 1:54 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Though Wildlife sticks to their story that the cougar is extinct a hunter neighbor heard one scream in our neighborhood near Brevard. He didn't tell anyone until someone reported a sighting about a mile away near the river.

By Eddie on   11/7/2014 1:04 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Last night my daughter and I had just turned into our driveway and standing there in front of us illuminated by the headlights of my car was what looked like a huge grey wolf. Before we could get a really good look at it, kind leaped from the middle of the driveway into the brush on the side and into the darkness where we lost sight of it. I live in Randolph County and I have never seen anything like this before. I drive a Cadillac DTS and it's back was up over the hood of my car.

By Jennie on   11/28/2014 10:52 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Hi, my husband sent a video of what appears to be a large cat, NOT a house cat, walking along the edge of a wooded field near a chicken plant in Anson County, NC. It is not easy to see anything distinguishable other than the tail is long, thick, and blunt, carried low to the ground, and is almost half the length of the body. Also, the color is grayish or brown with white underside, which appears to run down the inside of the legs. It looks like it could be a ML, and it is definitely not a bobcat. He recorded it with his iPhone.

By Sandy on   11/29/2014 2:00 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

There are most definitely cougars in NC! I have seen 2 and heard several when visiting Hanging Rock, in NC. There was also, a hiker, who was attacked by a cougar at hanging rock about 5 years ago. It was all over the news, and can be easily looked up! I actually shot pictures of 1 of the cougars I saw. We should never say " matter a factely" that a species does not exist in a certain area. We are lucky to live along-side wildlife, and it should be respected, not feared. We should never underestimate the ability of animals, even in regards to there ability to adapt and expand their range. I don't think they have the ability to call and inform u when they take up residence in a new location! I hate it when people state this " matter of fact" when they have absolutly no way of aquiring scientific proof to back their "OPINION".

By Kristen Apple on   12/4/2014 11:23 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

How is the cougar a "protected species" in North Carolina if it doesn't exist?

By CR on   12/9/2014 9:39 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Several years ago, maybe 2011, I saw what looked to me like a cougar crossing the road in Lake Toxaway Estates. It was a higher elevation with very few lots, but still a paved road in a residential area. It stopped only briefly and then slinked off into the woods on the other side of the road. The way this animal moved was definitely catlike. It had a large, long tail and was tan in color. Short ears and thick legs. Not a fox, coyote or bobcat. It was beautiful. I'll never forget it.

By Lake Tox resident on   12/23/2014 4:11 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Several years ago, maybe 2011, I saw what looked to me like a cougar crossing the road in Lake Toxaway Estates. It was a higher elevation with very few lots, but still a paved road in a residential area. It stopped only briefly and then slinked off into the woods on the other side of the road. The way this animal moved was definitely catlike. It had a large, long tail and was tan in color. Short ears and thick legs. Not a fox, coyote or bobcat. It was beautiful. I'll never forget it.

By Lake Tox resident on   12/23/2014 4:12 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live in ridgecrest n.c. I have seen black panthers alot over the years I have lived here all of my life I know what I saw over the years 10 or more times over the 50 years that I have been old enough to get out and walk in the woods or driving always after dark on the old road going to old fort and at the top of old fort mtn on the back roads also near the asheville water shed they have always been here they scream when looking for a mate all the folks that are natives here can tell you about them we dont need proof we know just be aware that they are here

By mtn lady on   12/29/2014 6:18 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

There was a recent sighting of a cougar in East Lincoln a month ago or so. Is the commission aware of this and if so, are they planning on investigating?

By Concerned in Catawba County on   1/2/2015 12:07 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Dear Concerned in Catawba County. Those reports were based on actual sightings in Lincoln County, WISCONSIN, and confirmed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Learn more at http://dnr.wi.gov/
Reports of large cats across North Carolina are quite common but no physical evidence exists to confirm any of these reports and most can be attributed to mistaken identity and of course, the potential of someone’s illegal exotic pet escaping does exist. Once native to North Carolina, the eastern cougar has not been documented in more than 100 years. Several years ago the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the eastern cougar extinct. So the native big cat that once roamed North Carolina’s fields and forests is no more.

By NCWRC blogger on   1/2/2015 8:27 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Just saw one walking down the road in our subdivision here in Hampstead about an hour ago! I thought it was a dog, but noticed it was walking different...then I saw the long tail! We went out with a flashlight, but by the time we got out there, it was gone! Very large, much larger than the Catamounts we have back in MA where I'm from!

By Beth on   1/11/2015 8:05 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Last nite while in the mountains near Hendersonville, my husband and I had a large cat run across the road in front of our car. It looked like a smaller mountain cat (not a cougar). No spots. Long curled up tail. Small ears, which were pricked back, possibly due to being scared of our car. Looked to be solid tan color. Approx 40 lbs. Maybe this was an adolescent mountain cat. But definitely not a cougar.

By renee on   1/18/2015 2:33 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

forgot to add area where sited: going up Middlefork Rd, outside Bat Cave, NC

By renee on   1/18/2015 2:35 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Last nite while in the mountains near Hendersonville, my husband and I had a large cat run across the road in front of our car. It looked like a smaller mountain cat (not a bob cat). No spots. Long curled up tail. Small ears, which were pricked back, possibly due to being scared of our car. Looked to be solid tan color. Approx 40 lbs. Maybe this was an adolescent mountain cat. But definitely not a bob cat.

** note correction, meant to compare to bob cat, not cougar as previously submitted.

By renee on   1/18/2015 2:36 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

There is def a breading pair in randolph county because I have seen momma and the baby's on camera

By Bob on   1/21/2015 12:03 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Saw one at 4:30 this morning off of Optimist Club Road in Denver this morning. Crossed the road and walked into the woods behind some houses where young deer are frequently seen.

By KBlaze on   2/5/2015 9:34 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live in duplin co had one in cross hairs watched for 20 mi cat was exhausted it had escaped flood waters of floyd this cat was dappled in color with long tail about 4 in taller than large bobcat cat was thin in frame but appeared to be robust and healthy this cat was seen two more times in just two days . they said they saw a black cat.I think they were mistaken because of poor lite this is the first time i told this to anyone this cat did not look like picture of florida panther.but i found picture of cat on line that looks like one i saw it was called a savannah cat please look this cat up

By mjb on   2/6/2015 8:14 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Okay, I know they always say the NC cougar is extinct but they are sighting 3-4 times a year in Cumberland county NC along the Cape Fear River area. My neighbor shot one that was knocking over a a trash can next to Seabrook Elementary about an hour before students were to to arrive for class. Local wildlife officials came out and saw it and announced that it must have been the last one. About a month later I had one cause me to bring my bike to a stop as I came face to face with it on River road. A few summers ago a local newspaper was doing a story about kayaking on Turnbull Creek and saw one on a tree limb by b the shore..no picture. A few customers and the store owner watched one walk along the ditch bank along hwy 53 in front of his feed and seedstore and last night my brother was able to get a picture of one via his game camera he had left out since deer season

By John G on   2/14/2015 8:30 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Until someone produces undeniable evidence, I stand with the NCWRC. I've spent a great deal of my life in the woods, hunting or just observing, and have seen EVERYTHING, except a cougar. I did get a good chuckle from some of the obvious "once upon a time" stories. Specifically, the one where the couple went on a walking trail two different times and saw a cougar, not once, but both times; and had a machete (but no camera) the second time, lol, good luck with that... And of course, the 14 year LEO, who has poor grammatical sentence structure, made me feel much safer... Unless you're doing something wrong, the NCWRC is your friend, not your foe; and I'm grateful for their good intention...

By Gary on   2/27/2015 10:38 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Just spotted a cougar/mountain lion beside Highway 158 near Winston-Salem. It was shortly after midnight with a near full moon. My car headlights clearly illuminated first the eye-shine, then the entire head and upper body. Upon seeing the eye-shine, I imagined it was just another deer (that are usually feeding in that spot I pass every night going home.) But when the head turned towards me and I passed by the animal, I could clearly see a huge cat head resembling a female lion, but more flat. I can only hope this beautiful cat moves on safely to a safer, less populated area withhout getting run over on the highway. What an experience to see this animal.

By Jim H on   3/7/2015 1:59 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I saw a mountain lion last night at about 10:50pm along I-440 in Raleigh. It was near the Lake Boone Trail exit as I was headed towards Six Forks Rd from Wade Ave. I was the passenger in the vehicle and had a good look at the cat. I initially thought it was just a deer, but did a double take when I noticed the more compact head, feline walk, and especially the long tail. It seemed slightly skinny compared to photos of mountain lions I looked at online today, which would make sense if it was scavenging out in the open like that.

By Lydia on   4/6/2015 4:24 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live near Cape Fear river at Cumberland Harnett line. Heard a cougar in heat close then far away. Moving fast. Didn't occur to me what it was at first. Then saw footprints behind a barn on a power line cut. No doubt it was a puma. The sounds I heard were definitely a female cougar in season. The prints were among a bunch of deer prints..all fresh and it looks like there was a struggle or confusion amongst the deer. Very interesting.

By Jeff on   4/14/2015 12:23 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Jim H,

My dad said he saw one on his way to work off 158 in Winston yesterday.

By cmc on   4/17/2015 12:40 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters Mountain lion sighting

I saw a Mountain lion/ or Cougar On Rock Creek Road about 300 yards up the mountain from Rock creek recreational area in Tennessee Last week Around May 13 2015. I live on the North Carolina side in Poplar about 8 miles from the sighting.I drive this route to Erwin quite alot for grocerys ect.. He or She ran across the road from left to right 60 feet in front of me and no doubt what I saw. Thin, body length aprox 4ft. Tail another 2.5 ft. Hight approx 3ft. I also have castings of cat prints from my 40 acre property in NC that are way to big for bobcat.. They're here, Period..

By Stewart B on   5/20/2015 4:51 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

gofundme.com/vtusvg


HELP RESEARCH THE EASTERN COUGAR WE NEED YOUR HELP COPY THIS AND SHATE SHARE SHARE! We are organizing a research investigation in Lincoln county and we need help to try and catch this mysterious and beautiful animal

By Justin on   5/30/2015 1:31 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I saw a large cat this morning. In Boone, NC, on Winkler's Creek Road between Russ Cornett Rd and Sunburst Ln. Returning home from dropping my kids off at school between about 8:00 to 8:15 am, I had to put on my brakes to slow down and avoid hitting this large cat. It ran across the road in front of me approximately 20 to 30 feet ahead from the creek side to the non-creek side. It was dark, seemed to have some black and brown to it, with large spots. It was not as large as a cougar but much larger than a domestic housecat, perhaps three to four times the size. It's body was in a sort of stealth position as it ran across the road--not that low stalking creeping position, but more like the stereotypically expected position when an animal that does not want to be seen runs from one cover to another. It struck me that it did not have a tail, but I could be wrong about that.

By RB on   6/5/2015 8:32 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

In the fall of 1999, I was camped with friends near Sylva, NC, and all of us saw a mountain lion. It was less than 5 feet away and there was absolutely no doubt as to what it was. We called NC wildlife the next morning and were told we must have seen a dog. I called back the next week, after speaking with multiple hiker and hunter friends who have also seen them. I informed the officer that I am plenty smart enough to distinguish a dog from a cougar in brad daylight from 4 feet distance. And he told me, "off the record", yes...there are Cougars in NC. He has seen them. Most wildlife officers have. But that if NC admitted that there were Cougars in this state, we'd have to monitor them and do education and such the way places out west do, and the state didn't want the expense or the responsibility. So we get this party line nonsense about escaped exotic pets and misidentified house cats. What a shame.

By Blue on   6/7/2015 6:38 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Here is the story mentioned earlier about the columnist for the Fayetteville paper who was doing a series on local streams and rivers. She was investigating Turnbull Creek, which is part of the Bladen Lakes Forest and lies just east of the Cape Fear River, when she witnessed a mountain lion drinking from the stream. I later asked Nomee if that is what she saw and she was positive, remarking that the tail was as long as its' body.

Waterways: Turnbull Creek
The big cat that got away
By Nomee Landis
Staff writer

This is one in a series of stories on significant waterways in the Cape Fear region. Waterways will run monthly through September.
I had hoped to see an alligator during our first paddling adventure of the year, on Turnbull Creek in Bladen County.
Photographer Marcus Castro and I have been kayaking the waterways of southeastern North Carolina for more than two years now. Gators are known to lurk in these dark waters, but I have yet to see one.
I didn’t see an alligator on Turnbull Creek. Or a fanciful bird. Or even a snake on this journey.
What I saw was better, something I would never have dreamed of seeing. Something I am certain I will never see again.
Most people will doubt I saw it at all. They’ll say my eyes fooled me, that my writer’s mind temporarily veered down that dreamy highway called fiction.
A big cat. I saw a big cat. A zoo-size big cat. A cat so big it set my heart to pounding from 100 feet away and stiffened my body as the creek’s persistent current carried me closer to it.
It was at 11:30 a.m. April 12 on a relatively nondescript section of Turnbull Creek when I saw it. With its sighting, I was thrust into a debate that has simmered in these parts for generations. Are there any big cats -- eastern cougars -- left in southeastern North Carolina?
Eastern cougars once roamed the state, but no one has confirmed a big cat sighting in North Carolina since 1868.
***
Castro and I had taken longer than usual to get our boats in the water that morning. We had to first scout our entry and exit points, something we typically do in advance of our trips.
This time, though, we opted to show up at the water and simply find a way to paddle it.
On this morning, we were in no hurry. With help from Chris Meggs, the forest supervisor at Turnbull Creek Educational State Forest, we found a suitable spot along the creek and launched our kayaks in the swiftly flowing, black-black water. Our destination was just a quick paddle downstream. Or so we thought.
Within the first few curves of the creek, we could hear rippling water. A makeshift waterfall had formed where a tree lay across the creek, producing the soothing sound of rippling water.
We began our paddle lazily, expecting to reach our destination in only a couple of hours. I planned to take note of all the details and discover the secrets Turnbull Creek keeps.
The year’s first dragonfly whirred alongside my boat, its wings beating a rhythm in the cool, overcast day. My forehead brushed the year’s first spider webs, and the year’s first spiders dropped into my boat. We ducked to limbo beneath the year’s first fallen tree.
Mosses in hues of green carpeted the creek’s muddy banks in fresh, moist spring. New ferns were unfurling themselves from winter’s sleep.
But the air reeked, a stench that sucked some of the pleasure from the paddle. It was the clinging odor of a hog farm somewhere along the creek’s bank, the stinging ammonia smell from thousands of animals.
The smell persisted for more than an hour. Around some bends, it seemed to dissipate. Around others, it grew strong again.
Castro and I took turns jockeying for position on the creek. Here and there we switched places, each taking a turn in the lead. I told him it was nice to paddle in silence; chatty companions often scare off the animals.
On the water, the lead paddler usually sees the most wildlife, as great blue herons or ducks, even deer, are flushed from hiding.
I saw hubcap-size turtles sunning on logs, but the slightest movement sent them, plunk-plunk, into the water before a camera could be raised.
I heard the crashing of a deer through brush and saw a quick flash of color. Too quick.
And so it happened with the cat.
I rounded a bend and saw it there at the water’s edge. My heart pounded. It took a minute to realize what I was seeing.
I considered the possibilities as my boat drifted toward the animal.
Mountain lion? No, I thought, there aren’t mountain lions on Turnbull Creek. Are there?
Bobcat? No, this was no bobcat. Its ears were not right. Its tail -- thick as the rigging of an old sailing ship -- was much too long, and the curved tip nearly brushed the ground.
I thought: I must remember the details because no one will ever believe this. I noticed the whitish, loose fur of its belly and its uniform tan color. I looked again at that long, thick tail.
Then I wondered aloud where Castro was with the camera. ‘‘Marcus,” I whispered.
The big cat looked up at me then. It was a deliberate, inquisitive look. It turned slowly away from the water, sauntered up the bank and disappeared into the woods.
Castro rounded the bend and said he had tangled with a tree. I told him he wouldn’t believe what I just saw.
We looked halfheartedly for tracks on a piece of sloping ground where I thought it had been. The path was hard-packed grass. No tracks.
We ate lunch a few creek bends later, where we could easily park the boats.
Did I really see what I know I saw?
We finished the trip down Turnbull Creek in early evening. It took almost six hours. We hauled our boats over lots of downed trees and performed the river limbo a few more times.
Back in the newsroom, my cat story met with disbelief. The jokes began almost immediately. Then came the music, the ‘‘Pink Panther” jingle. And Castro printed a photo of me on the river and glued a caption above: ‘‘Here, kitty kitty kitty.”
But I don’t care if no one believes me. Or that we missed by a split second the chance to end a generations-old debate about whether eastern cougars still roam here. I’m blaming that on Castro.
I know I saw a big cat. Something elusive. Something fabulous.

By JR on   6/23/2015 3:25 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

On June 7 th I took pictures of cat prints in my backyard,measures 5"x 5" I live in Madison N.C.

By Anthony Hamilton on   6/26/2015 5:23 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I'm 39 year's old I live in harmony. I've hunted my hole childhood, and was razed in the woods. We're I'm from witch is 30 from VA if you haven't seen these big cats you haven't covered much ground. And we have witnessed these cats in groups. Black ones are the only ones I've ever seen. I seen one tan and talk to two other people who had seen on like it . One of who Wichita explain to me we all had seen the same cat. She all so told me it was a Florida cat that had made its way here. I've seen menu bobcats, the biggest onevent I've seen was black, it had been hit buy a car. It was completely in tack , but it was so big I wasn't sure if it was a true bobcat till I seen some black ones up state.

By Jamie on   7/29/2015 3:20 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Wildlife didn't believe a Black Bear was in Davidson County until one was killed by the Thomasville Police, another was hit by a wrecker on I-85. Saw Bobcats, never a Cougar, but they are here.

By Jon Hicks on   8/2/2015 10:07 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I have worked in the wilderness for 13 years, holding jobs thru-out North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky from being a Whitewater Raft Guide to being a Park Ranger with the feds(they deny I deny to public they know where I stand on the issue we are told to tell you there not here) and and my mom was the lead curator for a very famous zoo. I grew up watching cougars, panthers, tiger, feeding coyotes, lynx and wolves. I feel I am a fairly credible source. I have seen a Black Panther in Longcreek, SC, a Mountain Lion Near Clayton , Ga., A Mountain Lion in Corbins bend Area in KY, a Bob cat in Pikes Ridge Area of KY, Several Black Bear in SC, TN and NC and wolves in NC, coyote to but the wolve were bigger, stronger and healthy-er looking than all the coyote I had seen.

Get out of your office!!!!!
#IfItsOnPaperItMustBeTrue

By skasing on   8/11/2015 6:57 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

What a hoot! The NCWRC has it's work cut out for them on dismissing this myth. This reminds me of watching "Finding Bigfoot". I've heard these types of stories for years, and for a long time tried to rationally discuss them with people. I've learned that that is impossible because Aunt Lucy or Uncle B. S. couldn't be mistaken or possibly lying. The more they tell it, the more they believe it. Just a few years ago one did turn up as a roadkill in CT. It was well documented by trail cameras all the way from SD on it's eastern walkabout, and was all over the wildlife news. When I see a roadkill or undoctored trail camera pics, not some "eyewitness account" , then I'd consider it. Even then I would opt for a rational explanation of a released pet, until the DNA proves otherwise. Everyone seems to want some great conspiracy. I'm siding with the NCWRC on this one.

By I Can Handle The Truth on   8/16/2015 3:54 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Just this morning a mountain lion/ cougar passed in front of my car in the Wildflower area of Franklin, NC. Did not have my phone so could not get a picture. BIG animal with long tail. He proceeded across road and up dirt trail. Then he stopped, turned his head and watched me. It was the perfect moment for picture, but no camera. AMAZING!!!

By Mary Jones on   8/26/2015 10:46 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

hey

By aj on   9/1/2015 10:27 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Get those trailcameras going..lets get some pics of all these cougars and black panthers...LOL..With all the deer hunters in the woods with trailcameras not 1!!! has a validated pic...I think everyone that has claimed to seen a black panther should get together and form a group and lets get some evidence....LOl good luck.

By T. Bone on   9/3/2015 8:20 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

This is amazing.. I thought someone was going to bust this myth? Anyone who has spent their lifetime in the woods around here knows that the big cats are here. My father and grandfather were both trappers on the reservation and they always had one or two cougar pelts hanging around. There was even one solid black one that I recall. There are more than a few seen up here each year, but since it's a rather common thing it only gets mentioned in passing. For people around here, there is no question of whether they are here or not, it's just will you be lucky or unlucky enough to see one.

I can understand not wanting to cause a panic around the larger cities, but to deny their existence in the mountain counties is laughable to those of us who grew up here. I can't speak to their existence in the rest of the state, but there are certainly "mountain lions" in our mountains.

By NCNative on   9/8/2015 11:05 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

My relatives have lived in Valle Cruces near Boone for years and have spotted one several times sunning on rocks in the pasture.

By sb on   9/22/2015 2:41 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I ha
ve a pic of a very large cat maybe Cougar you tell me what it is measures about 3 feet long just body.how do I send you pic.email me a buckdeer308@gmail.com

By william Childress on   10/1/2015 10:31 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Mr. Childress: You can send your photos to photos@ncwildlife.org.

By NCWRC blogger on   10/2/2015 7:03 AM

Christmas Tree Farm Mobile Home Pk.(owner) Leonardtown,Md.301-4759811

about six years ago my family and I had just parked on the blue ridge parkway just above Linville N.C.as we were starting to get out of car headlights on a very large cougar went right in front of our headlights and ran into the woods.I am no dummy I know a cougar from any other animal.

By Dwight MacRae on   10/10/2015 4:50 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Eastern Cougar may be extinct, but there is at least one cougar living in the wild in the Plymouth, NC area. Saw it on a railroad track approximately 300 feet in front of my train at 1:45 pm on Sept. 14, 2015. It was in a swamp near the Roanoke River on a sunny day & visibility was excellent. I've seen every type of wild animal you can think of that lives in Eastern NC, as I have worked on the railroad for the last 26+ years. I am sure it was a cougar! The cat took one leap from the track into the forest. It is the most fascinating thing I have seen & that includes red wolves, coyotes, bobcats, black bears, deer, etc.

By j. carr on   10/22/2015 8:56 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I saw a roadkill that had a long thick tawny tail on the side of I26 heading back from Asheville Monday. It was raining and traffic was doing 65 mph. I have wondered if it was a mountain lion since. That's what lead me to googling mountain lions tonight. I thought about it all week. Maybe it was or maybe not.

By Roger Caudill on   11/6/2015 7:23 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I see this conversation is somewhat old but I have a house in a rural area of Rutherford County (Union Mills) and my daughter (24)swore she saw a "lion" on our properly a few months ago. I talked to neighbor friend and he said he had seen a mountain lion in our area on 2 occasions and got a clear picture of it. The pictures he shared with me (and posted on Facebook) is absolutely a mountain lion. I am putting up some critter cams in hopes of getting my own pic. I would be glad to share the pics.

By Graham Johnson on   11/30/2015 11:03 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Mr. Johnson, you can send us your photos at photos@ncwildlife.org.

By NCWRC blogger on   11/30/2015 11:06 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Say there was one of these extinct big cats harming livestock would there be a fine for shooting it then.

By Ethan Lunsford on   11/30/2015 8:38 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

March 1, 2015 at approx. 9:00 PM
Davie County, NC approx. 1.5 miles west of Yadkin River on Markland Rd.
Conditions were overcast and very light fog.
My 13 year old son and I were traveling west on Markland Road and a mountain lion crossed in front of us moving northward as we were traveling at a speed of approx. 35 MPH coming to a complete stop to watch the lion as he crossed. Unable to take pictures as whole encounter was approx. 5-8 seconds.
On the morning of March 2 I reported the encounter to the local NCDNR Wildlife Biologist. He was very interested in the details as mentioned above but said that the official position of the NCDNR is that "we do not have an active breeding population in NC". He also told me that sometimes they escape from captivity, they like to travel the ridges and river bottoms and that they do know that they can travel up to 250 miles over approx. 14 days.
I never heard anymore until their comments on the lion spotted in Greensboro Nov. 30, 2015. Check my information with the earlier posts on this thread around the same time of year...had to be the same lion.

By TFS on   12/2/2015 1:11 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

March 1, 2015 at approx. 9:00 PM
Davie County, NC approx. 1.5 miles west of Yadkin River on Markland Rd.
Conditions were overcast and very light fog.
My 13 year old son and I were traveling west on Markland Road and a mountain lion crossed in front of us moving northward as we were traveling at a speed of approx. 35 MPH coming to a complete stop to watch the lion as he crossed. Unable to take pictures as whole encounter was approx. 5-8 seconds.
On the morning of March 2 I reported the encounter to the local NCDNR Wildlife Biologist. He was very interested in the details as mentioned above but said that the official position of the NCDNR is that "we do not have an active breeding population in NC". He also told me that sometimes they escape from captivity, they like to travel the ridges and river bottoms and that they do know that they can travel up to 250 miles over approx. 14 days.
I never heard anymore until their comments on the lion spotted in Greensboro Nov. 30, 2015. Check my information with the earlier posts on this thread around the same time of year...had to be the same lion.

By TFS on   12/2/2015 1:18 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

My husband and I saw a large black animal cross Hwy. 221 in McCormick County just south of Eden Hall late this afternoon. We both asked, "What WAS that!" Which we both could not say for certain. It was the general size of an adult white-tail deer, however the back appeared shorter than a deer with legs longer than you would expect from a bear or a panther. There were no horns and the neck and head while carried upright from the shoulders didn't have a particularly long neck like a deer. It had a compact look with long legs. It covered ground quickly with long strides, not leaping, and front legs as well as the hind legs moved simultaneously with each other rather than a galloping type of pace. The closest animal I would guess at would be a very large ram of some kind, but the legs were longer and the head had no rack at all. The only thing we can say for sure is that it was solid black. Any ideas what we saw?

By Jackie Brown on   12/21/2015 8:51 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Hi my name is Larry I am from Pennsylvania and I just wanted to say that I was on my way home from Myrtle Beach yesterday which would have been December 23,2015 and was driving on interstate 95 and had just gotten on 95 in lumberton and saw a mountain lions lying dead along the highway.I wish I could have stopped and got a picture but there was too much traffic. I think it was past the very next exist that I saw it.It was the first time I have ever seen one not sure who to tell but I hope someone can check it out and pick it up.

By Larry Newcomer on   12/24/2015 11:15 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live downtown wilmington and walk through oakdale cemetery many times a week. I see deer and coyotes every once in awhile. There is a night camera that captured a very large looking cat last month. To me I would call it a cougar. You be the judge. I would love to hear some thoughts. Please go to oakdale cemetery Facebook page and scroll down. You'll see it. It's pretty crazy something like this could be roaming the historic area of wilmington.

By Michael jeffreys on   1/3/2016 10:59 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live downtown wilmington and walk through oakdale cemetery many times a week. I see deer and coyotes every once in awhile. There is a night camera that captured a very large looking cat last month. To me I would call it a cougar. You be the judge. I would love to hear some thoughts. Please go to oakdale cemetery Facebook page and scroll down. You'll see it. It's pretty crazy something like this could be roaming the historic area of wilmington.

By Michael jeffreys on   1/3/2016 10:59 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Check out the trail cam photos taken on oakdale cemetery Facebook page. Look for the one of the cougar and tell me they don't exist. This photo Was taken in wilmington off of 15th st in downtown.

By Michael jeffreys on   1/3/2016 11:10 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

There is no “remnant” population of big cats that has somehow been surviving in the mountains or swamps undetected for 100 years, that just isn’t really genetically possible. Cats are not that long lived and a population can’t exist without some form of genetic exchange. Genetic exchange means new unrelated cats would have to enter the population from somewhere. If new cats were entering the population then, at some point in time over the last 100 years, a cat would have been hit by a car, shot by someone or otherwise documented coming into the state. BUT there ARE hundreds of people that get exotic pets and release them... Yes there are some cougars (mountain lions) and black leopards and jaguars (different than cougars) in the mountains and woods but they are not indigenous.

By Lauren on   1/5/2016 5:33 PM

Walking aids

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
Hiking Stick

Keep Posting:)

By Walking aids on   1/11/2016 6:15 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I heard a Mountain Lion scream in Lawndale, NC about 3 weeks ago (and, no, it wasn't a bobcat). They have been around upper Cleveland County for years.

By Lizzy on   1/12/2016 1:44 PM

Walking aids

Nice site, It strikes a nice balance of the concept. I had a natural tendency towards 'mindfulness' from a young age. I am glad that I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation. Thanks for sharing.
Hiking Stick

Keep Posting:)

By Walking aids on   1/15/2016 1:26 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters black panther

In Rocky Point for Thanks giving just moved my boys there from upstate NY My boys are detension officers , one for the state and one for the county my son at the county gave us a tour of the jail on Friday nite the day after thank giving we arrived back at the house around 10:30 pm pulled down the driveway about 100 ft turning the truck around my wife noticed something black near the drainage ditch I then swing the truck back when we then saw the back end and partially side view and the unmistakable long thick black tail with that s shape and thick look. I was shocked and all I could think was its a black panther no one belived me but I know what we saw. so next time Im there I will put up a trail cam.Hope someonelse will do this soon

By r bianchi on   1/17/2016 7:10 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live in Ashe County NC and I know for a fact there are large black cats and mountain lions here I have seen them both!! First I was coming home from pound mountain we had been hunting til dark my husband and I left and was driving home and as we came around a curve we saw a yearling deer running and right on its tail was a mountain lion when our headlights lite up the deer and the big cat the cat shot off over the bank and the deer came to a dead stop!! Then one night it snowed about 6 in so we decided to take the atvs out to play in the snow it was around midnight and decide to ride the road behind United cemicon we got almost to the low water bridge and a large black cat came from the river side of the road and with one leap cleared almost the whole dirt road and ran into a large field that was to our right!! Both times I had people with me and they saw it also!! I don't know how they got here but I know they are here!!!

By Renee on   1/18/2016 11:15 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live in Ashe County NC and I know for a fact there are large black cats and mountain lions here I have seen them both!! First I was coming home from pound mountain we had been hunting til dark my husband and I left and was driving home and as we came around a curve we saw a yearling deer running and right on its tail was a mountain lion when our headlights lite up the deer and the big cat the cat shot off over the bank and the deer came to a dead stop!! Then one night it snowed about 6 in so we decided to take the atvs out to play in the snow it was around midnight and decide to ride the road behind United cemicon we got almost to the low water bridge and a large black cat came from the river side of the road and with one leap cleared almost the whole dirt road and ran into a large field that was to our right!! Both times I had people with me and they saw it also!! I don't know how they got here but I know they are here!!!

By Renee on   1/19/2016 9:05 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Then there is SOMETHING that looks like a cougar, acts like a cougar and sounds like a cougar..running around my area of Rockingham County. Two nights ago it "charged" at us (me and our Morky) at around 2:07 am during a middle of the night potty break for the dog. I have never been so scared in my life... I promise there was no going back to sleep. I flipped on the flashlight in the general area that it was in ...whatever IT is... And slowly backed up towards to porch door while frantically strobing the flashlight. The night prior I had seen it across the street in our woods. I have numerous pics of skat, tracks, scrapes, and a very poor one of IT standing across road in the dark. We have ordered special cameras that should be delivered within the week and upon getting them installed and capturing some video, we will be contacting the news stations etc and get the information out there. Our neighbor had a very large dog come up missing a while back. Then IT charging at us etc. We no longer have a peaceful area or an area I can even let the dogs out or walm to mailbox without carrying the gun. Next time I'm shooting

By Frustrated on   1/21/2016 7:31 AM

Walking aids

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
walking sticks online

Keep Posting:)

By Walking aids on   1/23/2016 3:03 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I use to live out at Crowders Mtn in Gastonia NC. I was going to work one morning it was still dark turned the curve and my head lights shown on a big cat.Its eyes where shining in my headlights. Its color Was a slightly dark brown ,it had a long sloped back & a long tail.Talking one day to someone who lived in same area started telling me about a big cat she had seen about 3 miles from where i seen one. after that i told her my story. I know a man who owns some land a little further out in the country who says he has seen big cat track on his property.Not a bob cat i have seen them before.

By james on   1/26/2016 12:53 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live in Stokes County, NC and today 1/29/16 I observed tracks in the snow on my river property near the Dan River that could have belonged to a 400 lbs. buck or possibly an elk. Could elk have migrated from the Smoky Mts. since 2001( 15 years ago) where they were reintroduced? Thanks for any info!

By Sally Wolber on   1/29/2016 3:42 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Ms. Wolber: There are several possibilities. It could be an elk but that is unlikely. Usually when there is elk dispersal it is during the summer months. Footprints and animal tracks look a lot bigger in snow. Cattle have similar footprints.

By NCWRC blogger on   1/29/2016 5:07 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

The other morning, my husband was traveling to work on highway 13, just south of Ahoskie, NC. And saw what he thought was a cougar cross the road in front of his car. It was running very fast but he is certain that it was not a bobcat. It was larger. Much larger. We looked up pictures and he said it was the cougar/mt lion. Could this be possible?

By Sparks family on   2/6/2016 11:41 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

My husband was driving to work Thursday morning and saw, what he thought, was a panther (mountain lion) running across the road. He was certain that it was not a bobcat. He said it was such a fast incidence that he had not time to do anything. He said it was "booking it" across the road... and that the only thing he could be sure of is that it was very large and tan, and very fast. This happened on highway 13, about ten miles south of Ahoskie, NC, Have there been any other sightings in this area? And is it possible that what he saw was truly a panther/mountain lion?

By Sparks family on   2/7/2016 11:19 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

My husband was driving to work Thursday morning and saw, what he thought, was a panther (mountain lion) running across the road. He was certain that it was not a bobcat. He said it was such a fast incidence that he had not time to do anything. He said it was "booking it" across the road... and that the only thing he could be sure of is that it was very large and tan, and very fast. This happened on highway 13, about ten miles south of Ahoskie, NC, Have there been any other sightings in this area? And is it possible that what he saw was truly a panther/mountain lion?

By Sparks family on   2/8/2016 7:14 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live in Ashe County NC and I know for a fact there are large black cats and mountain lions here I have seen them both!! First I was coming home from pound mountain we had been hunting til dark my husband and I left and was driving home and as we came around a curve we saw a yearling deer running and right on its tail was a mountain lion when our headlights lite up the deer and the big cat the cat shot off over the bank and the deer came to a dead stop!! Then one night it snowed about 6 in so we decided to take the atvs out to play in the snow it was around midnight and decide to ride the road behind United cemicon we got almost to the low water bridge and a large black cat came from the river side of the road and with one leap cleared almost the whole dirt road and ran into a large field that was to our right!! Both times I had people with me and they saw it also!! I don't know how they got here but I know they are here!!!

By Renee on   2/13/2016 7:22 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I have been in the woods my whole life and since hurricane ireane got eastern nc I have seen two or three different types of cats that I had never seen here before. I seen a huge brown cat with a long arched fat tail. This was no bob cat. A few days after the cat was seen I had three big pit Bill's killed by a cat.theese pits had killed bob cats.

By simple c on   2/14/2016 1:06 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

My husband was driving to work Thursday morning and saw, what he thought, was a panther (mountain lion) running across the road. He was certain that it was not a bobcat. He said it was such a fast incidence that he had not time to do anything. He said it was "booking it" across the road... and that the only thing he could be sure of is that it was very large and tan, and very fast. This happened on highway 13, about ten miles south of Ahoskie, NC, Have there been any other sightings in this area? And is it possible that what he saw was truly a panther/mountain lion?

By Sparks family on   2/15/2016 1:10 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Sparks family, there have been no confirmed sightings of mountain lions in North Carolina, as stated in the article above. You can read more about the mountain lions in North Carolina by reading another article on this blog. Here is the link: http://www.ncwildlife.org/News/Blogs/NCWRCBlog/tabid/715/EntryId/129/The-Legendary-Cat-of-the-Mountains-and-the-Swamps-is-Just-That-a-Legend.aspx

By NCWRC blogger on   2/15/2016 1:15 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Western cougars are here, even if the eastern species is gone. that has been confirmed by a biologist to me, and by numerous sightings and tracks, and scat. Why does the state think the general public is a bunch of morons. We know what we have seen and heard.

By Ms. Johnson on   2/20/2016 7:22 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

It may be true Mountain Lions may still exist somewhere in the Tar Heel State but I'm wondering, with the proliferation of game cams and trail cams--to say nothing of cell phone cameras--why no one has been able to produce a recent verifiable photo of a Mountain Lion in North Carolina.

By Bill on   3/3/2016 4:22 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

eastern nc my dogs were barking and I went to check and I saw the tail end of what I believe to be a cougar I know it wasn't a bobcat or another dog because the length of its tail positive it was a cougar. a lot of the wooded area has been shrinking due to building of new subdivisions and strip malls and its not uncommon for me to see family of deer in my yard.

By melissa on   3/18/2016 10:17 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I'm glad that I'm not insane. On Monday, March 14, 2016 at 6am I was driving to work on old rock quarry rd in johnston county. I am used to seeing all kinds of wildlife on the back roads to include other states and countries I lived in. Coyotes in AZ and NV, wild boar in Germany, and deer always. I know I saw a black panther. It was clear and on the side of the road even though it was dusk. It was skulking around one the drain ditches. When I was approximately 10 feet away it looked up (its eyes glowed from the reflection off my headloghts) and darted into the woods. It was large, larger than a any bobcat for sure, pitch black with a long tail. I'm glad someone else has seen them or it in johnston county.

By Jenny B on   3/19/2016 9:23 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I saw a black Wolfe last night In Franklin co by Granville co. Very close sighting while driving at 2:00 am.Running, Crossing the road in front of me, looked in my direction with eyes reflecting then continued running through the next field. It was a full moon so nice and bright out. I saw one last year as well. I went back to the spot the next day where I saw an older couple walking and I mentioned it to them. The man said, " You know, if you would have told me that any time before last night I would have thought you were nuts but late last night I heard this unreal howling noises which I never heard before so I believe you. He lives there and he was frightened by the noises it was making. Another full moon too. True.

By susan on   3/23/2016 9:13 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Hello I am looking to find out how I can see about my son experiencing hunting. He is 13 and loves outdoors. Can you let me know of any information to help us get started?

By CArchard on   4/12/2016 11:32 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Seen huge black panther in field behind house.. just off Wilson Mills road Smithfield NC.. anyone else seen it..?

By Mike on   4/29/2016 9:11 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live here on kernersville on the Forsythe/Guilford line. There is a big cat living here he has been see by folks and there are tracks. The NC wildlife officers can drive around in the pretty new truck and pretend that there not real and claim there's exotic pet loose but I know that this year I haven't seen zero deer here and 1 rabbit this year.compared to last year were you'd see deer every night and 2or 3 rabbit's at least every evening. I realize you'll think you know everything there is to know about the wildlife here in NC and write some bogus stupid story about the 33rd airborne rattlesnake division. You cannot tell me that all these folks here are just smoking the good stuff and are seeing a freaking dog. I can add 2+2 and what's going on around here is there is a predators roaming around. Should be investigating these sightings instead of shooting down these reports. This is very important to NC and these officers should check these claims. Do treat people like there stupid cause half of spend more time in with wildlife than these resource officers do. I have pictures of track out side and around my home as well as neighboring farmer. My dog is a gascon bluetick and mountain cur and this track is twice the size of his. Happy hunting...

By KWaters on   5/12/2016 1:46 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I live in Polk County, NC andplainly saw black panther 3 yrsago where I work which is in a very rural area. She was in no hurry and had three babies behind her - one black like her, one a mottled tan like a baby cougar and the other was mottled but had some black on it. All had long tails. I paid attention when she got close to a golf cart we use at work and its head came 1/3 of the way up even though her gait was sort of "creeping" low to the ground - too big to be a kitty cat; the babies were about the size of my 8 lb yorkie. I talked to my vet and he has seen a ma-ma cougar with four babies atdusk while driving home from work. He is convinced all are exotic pets released that are finding one another and inter breeding. I have also heard loud cougar screams near my house - just like the cougar car commercial sounds. They are here folks so we need to deal with it and be very careful with our pets and children.

By Joy Burrell on   5/12/2016 3:27 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I seen a full grown cougar. He walked in front of my vehicle real slow not in any hurry. This was in gates county NC by the swamp on the Chowan River, on Fort Island Road......several people have seen a black one around there...they are wild ones not pets......like it or not they are not extinct....

By dan jeffries on   5/19/2016 1:15 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Can I kill a Cougar in Gates County since they are extinct?

By dan jeffries on   5/19/2016 1:16 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Thanks for this website. I am afraid I have to agree that Panthers still exist.

By James Cannon on   5/20/2016 7:46 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I am afraid I have to agree with the many commentators on this site that Panthers still exist in N.C.

By James Cannon on   5/20/2016 7:47 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Have any of you ever wrestled a catamount? Surely someone has with all of these sightings and run-ins with big cats...get that on film and you'll really have something...

By Billy on   5/25/2016 7:35 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

At 8:50 PM, May 20, 2016 my wife and I saw a big cat, tannish gray in color in my HID headlights and floods no more than 75 feet away in northwestern Halifax county, NC. As it slowly crossed the road and neared the edge, I gauged its length to be near 1/2 the width of one lane of paved road from his nose to rump. Height was maybe 2.5 feet

By Larry Chewning on   5/26/2016 9:37 AM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Saw a cougar this morning in Marshall NC

By M Pr on   5/30/2016 12:20 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

Family members witnessed large cat (approx. 75-100lbs), grayish brown, with long tail around 11:00am today crossing drive-way in neighbors yard. (In Clay co NC on mountain near Lake Chatuge.) And yes, we are intelligent capable human beings... we know the difference between coyotes, bobcats, and deer thank you.

By varied verity isnt very valuable on   6/1/2016 11:21 PM

Re: Wildlife Mythbusters

I set up a trail cam in my back yard just to see what was going on after i go to bed. So far i photographed a buck, various cats, squirrels (millions of 'em) and what i believe is a coyote. Bushy tail, long skinny lets and pointed snout. the pic quality is poor so i cant be sure. I live off Duraleigh in an established housing area. to the west is a rock quarry and a park with lots of wooded area. Was wondering if anyone else reported observing coyotes roaming in their neighborhoods.

By Sam Robinson on   6/17/2016 10:03 AM

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