Colin McEnroe Show: Are Wild Mountain Lions Back In Connecticut?

Reported sightings of the elusive ghost cat are increasing.

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Ottman's map of reported mountain lion Sightings In Connecticut.
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Colin McEnroe Show: Are Wild Mountain Lions Back In Connecticut?
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Colin McEnroe Show: Are Wild Mountain Lions Back In Connecticut?

Most people want to believe there's a breeding population of mountain lions spreading through parts of Connecticut and into New York's Hudson Valley.

People root for this to be the case. We want to believe that where we live is not completely tame - that there's a whiff of wildness and mystery to boring old Connecticut. And what could be wilder and more mysterious than mountain lions?
 
If you're a Connecticut mountain lion believer, you're not alone. I've been poking around, off and on, for more than a decade, and it's pretty easy to find people who think they've seen a cougar in Winsted or Litchfield. 
 
In the past two weeks, mountain lion fever reached a new high. People saw a mountain lion in Greenwich. Then a motorist hit and killed one in Milford. Escaped pets? A native population? a Hybrid of the two? 
 
Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

  

Comments

Thank you, Dr. Rabinowitz,

Thank you, Dr. Rabinowitz, for your points regarding big cats' usual lack of interest in killing domestic animals, and the importance of not keeping exotic animals as pets. Americans everywhere, and certainly in the Northeast, where our forests have rebounded in the past 60 years, must find ways to celebrate wildlife in their midst, and coexist peacefully with them. The reappearance of mountain lions, moose, bear, and other wild animals hunted nearly to extinction in times past signify improved habitat and prey base, and these should be cause for celebration.

Wow! A scientist would insist

Wow! A scientist would insist on hard evidence. Should it be another way?
I don't think the folks at DEP have any kind of investment in their position that there are no mountain lions in CT. They just want evidence. I would think they would love to find the hard evidence. People say they see lots of things. Doesn't make it so. Take a picture if you see one. How come every time a bear walks through someone's yard, we see a picture of it on the news or in our local papers. Yet, the mountain lion...No so much.

mountain lion in Newtown

I can't explain the DEP's position on this other than they are scientists that insist on solid evidence, and are invested in their earlier conclusion that there are no mountain lions in CT. For years they argued that if there were mountain lions in CT then there would certainly be road kills. Now we have one. I had no interest or position on this issue. Then my wife and I saw one in our yard. I know what I saw.
I found it interesting that the DEP claimed that they investigate all sightings. They did nothing when I reported it to them.

mountain lion

I saw a mountain in Portchester 2 weeks before reported in Greenwhich I reported it to the police and it was never reported...I think they thought I was crazy

I didn't hear all the show,

I didn't hear all the show, but the Bo guy lost me when he went all DEP conspiracy on us. I noticed he never answered Colin's question of why the DEP would do that. As Colin pointed out, the DEP folks he has had contact with are animal geeks. They would love to find hard evidence. Interesting that in this day (really the last 10 years or so) of the cell phone camera no one can get a picture. I would love to see some hard evidence. I'm sure I could set up a web-site with Elvis sitings and have folks would swear they saw him...Come to think of it, I bet there is one already.

E-mail from Mike

Great show.

Question regarding the dead mountain lion found in Milford. If the DEP is still maintaining that this might have been the escaped animal from Greenwich, I'd like to know why the animal might have chosen to cross the Housatonic river, over 500' wide at that point.

Mike

Morris, CT

(Never saw a mountain lion, yet)

E-mail from Peter

ask the DEP spokeswoman why the DEP ALWAYS insisted that we DIDN'T see a Mt. Lion! There is a difference between "needing more evidence" and INSISTING we saw "somehting else because Mt Lions don't exist in CT".

Now, post-car hit photo, i suspect, the DEP's attitude will change.

E-mail from Sara

I saw a mountain lion being walked by Elvis in the Talcotville section of Vernon on Saturday.