Earlier this week, I posted on Adirondack Almanack an article about mountain lions. It includes a photo of a plaster cast of a paw print sent me by Don Leadley, a veteran outdoorsman. Leadley says he tracked the beast for about a mile near his home in Lake Pleasant.
Do mountain lions exist in the Adirondacks? That’s the question raised by the article.
It’s also the question raised in a new website created by the Wild Center in Tupper Lake.
The Wild Center’s site, which goes live today, includes video from two motorists who saw a mountain lion in Russell, just north of the Park, and from Ken Kogut, a state wildlife biologist who pooh-poohs the idea that the big cats are living in the Adirondacks.
Kogut does not mention in the video that he himself once saw a mountain lion bounding across a road. The state Department of Environmental Conservation, however, insists that any mountain lion seen in the region must have been a former pet that was released by or escaped from its owner. Yet DEC says the vast majority of “sightings” are cases of mistaken identity.
Mountain lions—also known as cougars, pumas, or panthers—supposedly were extirpated from the Adirondacks a century ago, but rumors persist that a remnant population remains here.
The Wild Center’s website contains several other cool features, including a map showing reported cougar sightings in the Park, by decade; photos and descriptions of cougar sign; and audio of the cat’s sounds.
It also contains a reader poll.
Do you think mountain lions exist in the Adirondacks? Now you can register your opinion.