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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.

68 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

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