At this point in our research, we want to make you aware
of your surroundings. We are going to show you
have been seen. Some sightings may be wrong, with dogs,
coyotes or other animals being mistaken for cougars.
Investigating the credibility of the people making the reports
and following up on these sightings, we feel most reports
represent true cougar sightings.
Please keep in mind when you look at the map that Cougars
have been seen in front yards, farms, roads, school yards,
and parking lots not just in the forest. Safety is
our main goal. Look back to our home page
under the links of what to do
if you encounter a cougar. Several of the links describe
the actions the cougar displays in relation to the threat
it poses to you.
We made a visit to our New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation (DEC). Many of the questions
and rumors we have heard need to be addressed and we
need answers. The Endangered Species Unit welcomed us,
and we enjoyed a long visit with Allen Hicks.
The DEC web site says, There are no Eastern Cougars,
they are extirpated.
What is this cougar that is said to be extirpated?
That is one of our unanswered questions. We are not
the only state in the United States asking this. Every
state in the US now claims to be seeing cougars. In
the western states where a population of wild cougars
is known to exist, they now claim the population has
The DEC does receive many reports of sightings, but
does not investigate without other evidence to go
along with the sighting, such as a track or an
animal killed in a way suggestive of a cougar. When
the DEC accepts a cougar report, they believe the cougar
was one release intentionally, or unintentionally, by
people and not a wild cougar.
If the DEC is to be believed, these cats were once
someones pet. We think this is an even more
dangerous situation than if the cougars were from
the wild. These animals have been imprinted on humans
and have lost the fear of humans. Imprinting on wild
animals is irreversible. Releasing animals lacking
appropriate survival skills can be deadly to humans
and to the released animals.
We have heard many times that folks witnessed cougars
and wolves being released into the wild. Many claim
the DEC had released cougars. We also visited the
Law Enforcement of DEC. They were very assertive in
telling us the DEC would never release cougars. I
believe those who have seen animals released, so we
need to also try to identify the people and the
vehicles releasing the animals. Should you see
someone releasing an animal report it immediately
to the proper authorities.
Many organizations and people believe the cougar should
be allowed to roam the Eastern states. Everyone is entitled
to an opinion, but that does not mean it is a correct
decision for the people of New York or for the cougar trying
to make its home here.