Reports of cougar sightings have been popping up all over central and eastern Canada — scat and tracks, large, looming shapes that move with cat-like stealth, animal attacks. Solid evidence has yet to be recorded on the re-appearance of North America's largest cat in this neck of the woods, but that doesn't stop the first-hand experiences many have had with Puma concolor.
Tell us your cougar story and maybe we can find patterns to the appearances of this "ghost of the forest."
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Heard from a person I play hockey with about a couger killing a horse in the Horseshoe valley area. He heard story from the owner of the horse
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
On January 16th, 2008, my standardbred horse was taken down and killed by an animal. There were only one set of prints, large prints, if you extended your hand out, that size. One animal only. Grabbed her underbelly just in front of her hind legs and ripped. She put up quite a fight. She was 7 months along with foul, then a chunk out of the hind leg, down to the bone. MNR investigated and took pics of her, but I think we need to know the truth about whether this was a Cougar or not? I understand that wolves and coyotes are in packs, not alone and they would not do this type of damage. There was a sighting in East Garafaxa last week in the Orangeville Banner. Animal owners beware.
Friday, December 26, 2008
On Christmas Day of 2008, travelling on highway 101, on the corner of 67, in a field behind a house we spotted 3 large cats walking side by side. As we looked closer we noticed they were full grown, a dark color and had long tails eliminating the possibility that they could be lynx. What a present to see 3 cougars, such an elusive animal on Christmas Day.
Monday, December 08, 2008
On September 26, 2008 my mother and I were driving from our cottage on the
West Arm of Lake Nipissing. We were driving south on Route 69 about
50 miles north of Perry Sound. It was about 9:30am when we saw a large, muscular, light-coloured (maybe grey) cougar run across the
highway (no more that 20 feet ahead of us). It happened so fast that we were
glad both of us were in the car to validate the sighting.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Last night my husband and I were driving back to Cochrane from Timmins when we spotted a large cat on the side of the road. Upon further observation we noticed it was a cougar. We had the opportunity to stop the car and put the head lights on him and watch him sit on the side of the road for a few minutes before a few cars began to approach.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Late August 2008 my husband and I were camping in northen Ontario, Little Bear Lake area just off of Hwy 560. We had been out for a walk and upon
our return to camp sighted what I am sure is a Cougar walking ahead of us!
Aprroximately 100-150 feet ahead of us, walking the centre of the old dirt
road....we carefully and quitely tried to get closer for a look but it heard
us and lept into the thick bush in a split second! I was sure I had
spotted something other than a lynx or bobcat once before - wasn't sure what
but after this second sighting I'm sure it was a cougar!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
On Saturday August 9, 2008. My mother in-law and I were driving up our drive way
in the Hockley Valley area, and in the field beside our home we are almost
positive we spotted a cougar. It was in the early afternoon in it disappeared
in a flash. Our neighbour was out walking in the forest at the back of
our place and noticed some strange feces later that day.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
The first time my wife and I spotted a cougar we were amazed at the size and gracefullness of this cat. I have had the one in a million chance to see this cat twice since. The location of our experience was in July 2006 & August 2007 just a half hour West of Timmins
Monday, July 14, 2008
Back in the summer of 1990 my friend Jim and I were driving back to our
summer jobs in a Northern Ontario mining town named Manitouwadge about 60
km north of the trans-Canada hwy in the middle of the night (approx 3:30-4:00am). A cayote lept out in front of the car approx 50-100ft ahead of us on the
road being chased by a large cat.I'll never forget what I saw as it is burned
in my memory like a photograph. The cat lept over the entire hwy in one bound. The length of the body appeared to take up the entire left lane when stretched
out, the tail must have been 3ft long and the cat had a tawny/brindle colour.
I've had the misfortune of hiting a moose but had I hit the Cougar I would
have felt terrible as I know how important this cat is as an indicator
species to the environment and the hopeful recovery of the Eastern Cougar.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
This beautiful May morning my neighbour and I were walking along our city road near Perth, Ont. She spotted the movement and we could clearly see that it was a large blonde coloured cat-like animal. We are not biologists but I am an artist and am convinced that it is a cougar because of the smooth coat and absence of the fluffy, mottled colour of a linx. It was very muscular. White ears stood up as it ran. It was about 200m (found the spot on Google maps and measured distance using the scale) away from us running North along a tree row.
Fred & Jennifer
Saturday, April 12, 2008
We have 100 acres of protected wetland and forest 3 km SW of Singhampton
(north of Creemore & SW of Collingwood). We were out today
following deer tracks and saw some strange scat. We took and picture of
it. Compared to what we have seen on the web, we think it is Cougar scat. It
was loaded with white hairs and was right in the middle of a big deer run.
We are going back tomorrow to get the scat. Maybe someone from the MNR can
type it for us.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I recently moved to North Pelham this
past August (South of St. Catharines,
West of Welland) and was quickly acquainted with my Neighbour who came by to warn me of a cougar living in his barn. MNR was involved with cameras and night vision and even got samples of hair and scat from the barn. They claimed it to be
an exotic pet and wouldn't do anythig about it. So now its up to the local
police or animal control. With 4 small children in my home, I would love for this animal to be relocated to a less populated area.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
There was a cougar that was hit by a
car yesterday on the 403 in Hamilton, Ontario. I read about it in the
newspaper. It had to be put down for its injuries.
Monday, November 26, 2007
About 8:30 this morning, just after I got the older kids off to school, I was
looking out my front window when some movement over in my neighbours yard
caught my attention. At first I thought it to be a large black dog until it
moved out of the trees. I realized I was looking at a big, BIG cat. My young
son and I watch for about 10 minutes while it slunk around the yard.
Something startled it and it was off like a ghost. I went to the neighbours
to warn them as they have a small dog and they too were watching it. We came
to the conclusion that it was a smaller sized black cougar. What a gift to see
such a beautiful creature.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I was leaving a camp at One Island Lake (outside Thunder Bay, Ontario) when a cougar jumped out of what of seemed to be a tree, and bounced back into the forest. The tail was very long and its body seemed to be the length of the front of the van that I was driving. I sat in the vehicle for about twenty minutes to see if he would return, It did not. One Island Lake is a very well populated area with camps very close to each other and not much forest around. After speaking to some of the locals there about my account I was told of another sighting of a deer carcas in a tree. No one, not even the MNR could explain how it got there. Also two other ladies on a walk on the main camp road saw one, they contacted the MNR and were told that without evidence they could not confirm the sighting.
Monday, September 24, 2007
I moved to Madoc from Toronto four years ago, and didnt believe the storeys untill a waitress in a resturant I was working in called a MNR guy into the kitchen to tell me that indeed it was true. The MNR might not "officially" confirm it, but off the record they do. This past summer there have been a few sightings
in this area. By the way people, its "I SAW a cougar" not "I SEEN a cougar".
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
My brother was working up behind White River ON.He seen a Cougar on 2 different occasions(same day)probably
the same one.One of the other guys told him about it first and he figured it was probably a lynx till he seen
it.No mistaking its long tail.He had a good look at it!I had a customer at work that seen one in his back yard.He
lived in Chapleau ON.That was a few years earlier,and about 230km apart!I thought i seen one by Hawk Jct. On. between the 2 other sights once but i
was driving at night and couldnt say if it was a lynx or not for sure,that was about 10 years ago.Oh ya their around!I also heard a rumor that the MNR let some go around here,doing a study to see if they could adapt, but like i said "RUMOR"
greg from Horseshoe Valley
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
yes..the cougar kill near Horseshoe Valley,was indeed real.The MNR used the escaped pet excuse after conclusive evidence(bite marks/prints) ruled only a Puma would have strangled and then left a horse.It was actually in Warminster(12th line Oro-Medonte),@ 10 mins from Horseshoe.TThe horse owner fought had to make sure report conluded it was a puma,despite the fact he would receive no provincial/municipal reimbursement as puma aren't recognized as inhabiting central Ontario.Google ontario puma foundation for more info...they helped investigate. Makes me leary of taking my kids in the woods around these parts.
greg from Horseshoe Valley
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
The email making the rounds about the cougar shot at Greenock Swamp,near Walkerton appears to be a hoax(google it....owensoundradio reports it as false)The cougar was reportedly shot in AlbertaJust the same, it's quite a cat
Friday, March 16, 2007 I live in the Temiskaming area of Northern Ontario and cougar sightings have been on the increase up here. While out grouse hunting in 2004, my friend and I saw a large cougar west of Matachewan, no mistaking it, we know our wildlife. My brother spotted one approx. 10km west of Haileybury back in 1998. They're back, that's for sure.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007 I have heard from a few sources that the Ontario MNR has released 7 cougars along the Trans-Canada in the Sharbot Lake region as a method of controlling the swelling deer population and they denied doing it until a farmer shot one that was feeding on his sheep. .....Wouldn't be the first time that the MNR has lied about what they're doing.
Saturday, March 10, 2007 i live in northern ontario,were they say no cougars live but i seen one run right out in front of my school bus.it must of weighed 150 or so.i know my wild cats and it was a cougar.
Monday, January 29, 2007 I have seen one in the cambray are of the kawarthas while coyote hunting. I think my hounds may have put it out of the bush that they were in while chaseing a coyote. Much bigger than my houns taller and longer with a long tail many of us locals in the area have seen the same thing.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 Hi all, I am about 40 minutes south of Barrie and I am interested in photographing cougars in this area. Are there any locations that anyone would be willing to share in which I may be able to photograph cougars? Thanks so much, Steve Richardson
Tuesday, December 19, 2006 Has anyone heard of a suspected cougar kill in the Horseshoe Valley area of Ontario? This would have been approx. 1 year ago and the killed animal was a horse.
Monday, December 18, 2006 I live around Walkerton ONT on a farm at the southern tip of the Greenock wetlands. I seen a cougar when I was coyote hunting I was only 20 feet away when I realized what I was looking at It was well camouflaged between 2 trees. I identified it because of the round ears and cat like face/whiskers not know about the situation of the Eastern Cougar I thought what I had seen was a lynx a big stray cat or my Imagination. But sconce then vie encountered other very odd things like looking through binoculars in dense swamp for coyotes and seeing cat like faces seconded look and there gone. One time my bud pointed out a spot of something up in a tree that was in my bush line across my field we thought if was a new hunting stand.... but later that day it was gone when we checked it out up close and lastly I herd a series of screams tonight while coyote hunting all of them that sounded extremely loud and shrill almost female human but not really. Curious I when on the net and found out what? Cougars scream so I am a believer that cougars are here. IM I will never forget the stare I got from the giant feline. Nothing like it.
Thursday, November 09, 2006 Hello EveryoneI am Stuart Kenn, President of the Ontario Puma Foundation - Ontario's leading organization in the research and recovery of an endangered species, the Puma. You can visit our website at ontariopuma.ca.If you live in Ontario and think that you have seen a puma (cougar) please download one of our data sheets and mail it to us or email your sighting to firstname.lastname@example.orgThank You.
Saturday, November 04, 2006 I LIVE IN HOCKLEY VALLEY,MY WIFE A FREIND AND MYSELF, SEEN A COUGAR CROSSING OUR FIELD. HE WAS THE LENGTH OF A DEER AND MUST HAVE WEIGHED BETWEEN 150- 200 LBS. THIS WAS AT NOON SO HE WAS VERY VISIBLE THIS SIGHTING TOOK PLACE OCT.26/06 I REPORTED THIS TO THE MINISTRY THEY SAID THEY HAD ANOTHER SIGHTING RECENTLY IN THE GENERAL AREA
Robert Ronald (stayner, barrie, newlowell-Ontario)
Tuesday, October 31, 2006 There have been 2 cougar sightings here in central ontario both within the last week, in the same small area. Located inbetween New Lowell Ontario and Stayner Ontario. The animal has been seen stalking the fields of this deer rich area. Both times by experienced outdoors people. Also scat containing deer hair has been found in the same tract of forest, it should also be mentioned that coyotes are virtually non existant in the area due to sickness.
Friday, August 18, 2006 Hello! There have been reports that a cougar has been spotted here in southern ontario in and around Fergus Ontario. A small cougar was spotted yesterday morning in Wellington County. A woman jogging in the area of Wellington Road 18 in Nichol Township spotted the cougar in the parking lot of the trail bridge area. She reported the incident to police a few hours later, but a search was unsuccessful. Police are reminding people never to approach the animal or to try and catch it. Wild animals can become very aggressive if they feel cornered and may attack.
Saturday, August 05, 2006 My mom spotted a cougar in our driveway in mid July. She lives in West River Station in Pictou County Nova Scotia. Rumor has it in the are cougars were released into the wild (west River Station about 15 years ago from a wild life park in the province. I was telling someone about the sighting and they said there have been sightings in the Salem Alma area of Pictou County.
N. Funston (Lanark, Ont)
Friday, June 23, 2006 I know you did an issue on cougars some time ago, but I wanted to point out to you that there's a lot of talk right now in Lanark Highlands of a cougar residing there. I have lived in the area most of my life and have heard the rumours over the past year - and not thought anything of it. I still go out on walks without hesitation. But now, it seems a little more plausible, with more sightings by people who otherwise would know better. Apparently they have some hair & scat which the MNR is looking into (but of course, results may take a while). If you're interested, contact the Lanark Era (our local weekly paper) for the stories thus far.
Friday, June 23, 2006 There has been cougars living in the North bay area, out past the airport for years, my granfather showed me tracks of one when I was young and we were going fishing back at these beaverdams he knew about, the tracks were bigger then lynx and in perfect condition in the semi-hard mud, he was not worried about it, but a few weeks ago my brother Davids neighbor ran into one on a trail and it came after him, he had his dog with him and it scared the cat off.
That's a good listing Tim. Then there are all the other incidents that we hear of, but are not published. Most communities are aware that they have cougars, but it took the MNR four years, and probably four million dollars or more, to confirm it. but at least they did that. What puzzles me, is that we did not hear of cougars for years, except for the very rare occasion when one was spotted. In recent years there has been a big increase in sightings. I would think this has a lot to do with the increase in deer populations.
I hope someone is eventually going to get some good photos, in Ontario.
Why is a Florida Panther not called a cougar or mountain lion? The Panther is a cat not the same as the cougar, mountain lion or puma. It is separate and its a breed that originates in Central and South America, known as panthers. I lived for 5 years in Florida and that's what the locals told me, so I have to go with the standards they set.. I've seen Mountain Lions in Arizona and a Panther in Florida... the Mountain Lion is much bigger and heavier than a Panther.
3 years ago near my home in central ontario I worked at 2 different farms.. one near Cameron and one near Kirkfield both of these farms had run ins with cougars, the owner in Cameron had a photograph that her father had taken in his back yard.. it was a daylight photo of a large Puma at least 5 foot long with a 31/2 foot tail.. the daughter showed me several good pics. as well on her digital camera.. it appeared to be the same animal. This farm was made up of horses, chickens, ducks, geese, goats, sheep and 20 border collie dogs in pens that the daughter trained to work sheep.
The farm in Kirkfield was different.. it was a beef cattle farm and the week I was there the owner lost 4 large cattle the first was the bull. MNR was called in and told the farmer it was a bear... he ruled out wolves because they only found one set of tracks in the mud. I asked the farmer, how big was the bull? he replied 2,600 lbs. then I asked him how many bears have you seen in the past 20 years, living here? he replied none. I told him about the photos I'd seen last month in Cameron. He said that makes more sense to me, cause each animal was killed and never eaten and all of them had deep throat, head and neck cuts, like a knife or claws.
I have wondered since I researched the Florida "panther", why, even biologists call it so. I agree that the Florida "panther" is actually a cougar.
The term panther is used too widely these days, and has lost it's original meaning. Panthera pardus is actually a leopard, and is found in the eastern hemisphere. The South and Central American "panther" is actually a jaguar.
I started researching the differences when we heard about black cougars on Manitoulin. We now have four separate reports of black cougars in Manitoulin, north of Killarney, Algonquin, and north of Elliot Lake.
After the first report, we considered that a circus "black panther" had escaped, but now, with four separate reports, I am looking for another explanation. Most big cats go through a melanistic state between cub and adult when they may be black. There are also big cats that remain black due to a dominant gene. This is found in leopards, jaguars, and cougars, but is also debated by the "experts" who cannot agree on the cause or prevalence.
The Black Panther, (Central & South America), is a jaguar with the dominant black gene. It now appears that we have a similar trait in some cougars. The sighting on Manitoulin had black cubs, so it is not single animals that are being spotted.
It has taken the MNR 120 years to acknowledge that cougars have returned to Ontario, although many consider that they never became extinct here. How long will it take to accept that we also have black cougars.
This is one aspect of OWFR that I particularly enjoy. We can discuss animals that are seen by the public, that "experts", biologists, and MNR refuse to acknowledge, or even comment on.