Here come the cougars…
WINCHESTER, MA – A Winchester resident reported seeing a mountain lion in town earlier this week, an animal that’s officially extinct in the area.
Massachusetts Environmental Police responded and saw paw prints that strongly resembled those of a mountain lion — also called a cougar, puma or catamount. The sighting remains under investigation.
The last confirmed mountain lion sighting in Massachusetts was in 1858, in the western part of the state. There have been numerous reported sightings since, but none have been confirmed.
via Mountain lion sighting reported in suburban Boston – Boston.com.
The Winchester resident told police the animal was spotted in the Dunster Lane, Pepper Hill Drive neighborhood
There is documented evidence (DNA tested scat) from April 1997 of a cougar in the Quabbin Reservoir area of Massachusetts at The Cougar Network. (via Bill’s comment below)
Someone’s Lion: A Look at the Winchester ‘Mountain Lion’ Mystery
Experts “conclusively stated” that tracks found in Winchester belong to a mountain lion. But the state says “no way.”
The Winchester mountain lion saga continues!
Although they haven’t bagged and tagged a giant cat, Winchester Police are now claiming that a new, second mountain lion sighting, and subsequent tracks found in the snow, do, in fact, belong to a wild feline.
“A photograph of a second paw print located at this sighting was sent to several independent mountain lion organizations in the United States. Experts from those organizations have conclusively stated that the paw print belongs to a mountain lion,” police said in a statement on March 20. — via Boston Magazine
We already have coyotes, coywolves, fisher cats, bobcats and bears on Cape Cod. The cougars are on their way… or was the cougar already here back in the 1980s??
January 15, 2015 a large cat was photographed in Leicester, MA. It’s hard to tell if this is a cougar or a bobcat from the photo.
Leicester residents report mountain lion-type animal roaming around: http://t.co/SrwKjjyg6u #fox25 pic.twitter.com/xjPB9tEmty
— FOX 25 News Boston (@fox25news) January 16, 2015
I’m confused that the department of Fisheries and wildlife stated that the cougar tracks were too degraded to confirm it was a cougar. The bottom edge of the pad clearly shows three lobes, and the overall size of the pad (large) when compared to the toes is also consistent with a cougar. Just pull up a picture of a cougar track guide and compare. I’m also wondering if anyone in the area checked their security cameras for evidence considering it was spotted in such a populated area.
The first photo above is a file photo of a cougar track in snow (via Wikimedia), not a picture of a track from the Winchester incident. Sorry for any confusion. EDITED: See the new official scene photo from the Winchester PD (March 20, 2014)
Love your website–last confirmed Cougar in Massachusetts was 1997 at the Quabbin See–
Would love to book you for a field trip one day soon–thanks much!
Thanks for the link Bill. I was unaware of The Cougar Network, a great reference.
Updated this entry with recent sighting reports and an official cougar track image from the scene via the Winchester Police Department.
what does a fisher cats paw print look like,I think I have one in my back yard.
Updated with a recent possible sighting in Leicester, MA 1/15/2015