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Location: Southern Virginia
Joined: 11/02/2007
Posts: 227
Cougars in Virginia

I KNOW for A FACT that we have Mt. Lions in Va. And I also know that we had 3 of them in my neighborhood back in 1978. While most of MY personal experiences with these animals have been at night, and I only heard them while coon hunting, I have seen first hand what one will do do to a full-grown male coon dog. One night, this "cocky" dog ran one, until the cat decided to fight back. ALL you could hear were the defensive screams of the dog, and not one sound from the cat. We had to take the dog to the vet in the middle of the night to get it's throat and ears sewed back together. Many people have seen these cats in Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Lunenburg, and Brunswick Counties(only the ones that I know about), but nobody has a picture to prove. I have found a huge mound in the woods, being a deer carcass burried with leaves and brush. Talked to a local game warden, and he said it was probably a bobcat. This mound was huge, and you could see where it looked like the animal sat on the carcass, and raked the leaves to it all the way around. I was deer hunting in my swamp years ago, and saw what I thought was a doe sneaking through the swamp. Before it went into some brush, I could tell that it had a cat's head. It was thick where I saw it, and it's possible that it was a big bobcat, but I'll always wonder. But Cougars are around here. I wonder if these local cats pose a danger to humans?

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Location: Florida/Indiana
Joined: 11/14/2007
Posts: 5
Cougars in Virginia

Hi Tesoronut.

I have driven thru the north and east portions of the great state of Virginia a few times and love the mountains and woods there. It would be difficult for me to believe there aren't cougar in your neck of the woods given the terrain.

Indiana DNR tells us there are no cougar here, although I personally saw 1 adult with 3 kittens several years ago. I don't have any direct knowledge about the threat to humans, but have read that the large cats tend to attack people from behind.
In Florida where I spend part of the winter, the panther is a recognized specie on the endangered list and have recently been seen on golf courses and in lawns near the city of Ocala.
I would love to go on a cougar hunt in one of the western states where they are legal game.

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Location: Southern Virginia
Joined: 11/02/2007
Posts: 227
Cougars in Virginia

There is speculation that the Va. cougars are possibly an extension of the Fla. population, but nobody knows for sure. There is such an abundance of deer in this area, that food should be plentiful, although we are not very close to mountains(where I live). There have been two actual witnessed deer kills by cougars in my area. On one occaision, a man was fishing in a boat on a small lake, and saw a cougar pounce out of a tree onto a small deer, as the deer was drinking water. Another incident was right at dark, when a man saw four deer run across the road in his headlights, and a cougar was on their heels, and it caught the last one and "rolled" it. A lady saw one almost in her back yard, and a man was going to a field to bale hay, and saw one jump from a tree limb as the tractor approached. There are many more sightings, but nobody ever seems to have a camera. I think that the last documented proof of cougar existance was back in 1878. I predict that somebody will get proof soon.

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Location: Florida/Indiana
Joined: 11/14/2007
Posts: 5
Cougars in Virginia

Elusive and nocturnal larger animals are becoming more visible now with ever increasing encroachment upon their habitat. That is true in Florida with increased sightings in the central part of the state due to the deterioration and development of the Evergaldes and other swamp land. That would also be true of most areas experiencing reduced wildlife habitat. Virginia is no exception.

I have read that large cats can have an extended range of travel up to several hundred miles. Bioligists at a large military installation where I worked in Indiana are tracking the population growth of bobcat in the area via radio transmission collars. One cat was recovered as a roadkill near Louisville, Ky and another as a kill near Kalamazoo, MI, about 250 miles from the base.
These animals are on the move seeking food and safe shelter.

Hope you get a sighting soon, and a pic so you can post it here Yes .

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