I got a call earlier this week from a man who says he saw a cougar in late March near state Route 28n in Minerva, a quiet area in the central Adirondacks.
Apparently, there are a lot of deer there, and it would make a good hunting ground, he said. The man said his friend had a photo of the cougar that showed the animal’s long tail, a characteristic that is commonly used to distinguish it from bobcats, which have short tails. He said the animal was more than three feet long.
Later that day, the man sent me an image of the cat. Personally, I think the animal in the grainy image looks like a house cat. What are your thoughts? Could this be a cougar? Have you seen evidence of cougars on any of your trips in the Adirondack front country or backcountry? What wild animals have you seen?
Scientists have said from time to time that there may be cougars that roam through the Adirondacks in search of new territories, but there’s no evidence they have a breeding population here. Some sightings have also been chalked up to the animals being pet cougars that have been released or escaped.
If cougars ever did populate the Adirondacks, it would change the way people recreate in the woods. Extra precautions would have to be taken, and perhaps some people would be reluctant to hike alone.
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