More mountain lion sightings

DeepXplor

Explorer
Nov 5, 2008
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Jersey Shore
Over the years there have always been sightings. If someone doesn't have a verified picture, a captured animal, or a carcass then I am sceptical. I guess that I just need something a little more tangible then a possible sighting.
 

Canoe_Junkie

New Member
Nov 20, 2009
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Tabernacle
Yeah, like I said these seem to pop up every few years. The last time I recall was about three or so years ago and there were enough witnesses, tracks and scat that an elementary school was shut down.
 

gipsie

Explorer
Sep 14, 2008
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You can all laugh but a friend and I were driving down one f the roads into Millville (can't remember which one now) and we saw two animals run across the road. Slightly larger than a large dog and much smaller than a dear. Looked like a large cat. He swears they were cougar and I am not willing to agree to that, because I didn't get a great look at them. But I will not rule it out. We did pull over and run to the edge of the road to see if we could get a glimpse of them, but they moved pretty quick. They definitely did not remind me of any of the normal animals you see running around the pines.

But who knows.
 

lakesgirl

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Jan 3, 2010
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you can laugh at us also....two summers ago while taking a short cut through wharton to Chatsworth a cat about the size of our akita ran across the road in front of us. It kept it's eyes on the two deer in the road up ahead. it was an awesome experience! Foot prints on the side of the road were about softball size. I'd say it was bout 100 - 125 lbs. Just wish the camera was not behind the seatof the truck.
 

gipsie

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Sep 14, 2008
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I am not too sure by reading that article (but then again, I only scanned it) where in NY it was supposed to be. I worked in NYC in the 1st precinct, but lived upstate a little bit and grew up there. The Catskills were my home away from home. There were ABSOLUTELY, no doubt, no argument, cougars in those mountains. We have seen and heard them for years!
 

46er

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Mar 24, 2004
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I am not too sure by reading that article (but then again, I only scanned it) where in NY it was supposed to be. I worked in NYC in the 1st precinct, but lived upstate a little bit and grew up there. The Catskills were my home away from home. There were ABSOLUTELY, no doubt, no argument, cougars in those mountains. We have seen and heard them for years!
I had a place about 1 hr south of the border, in the Adirondacks. There was one kill by a cat in a town close by that was confirmed cougar, but not a wild one. It is shown on the site at the link. My brother has lived in the northern Catskills for the past 20 years, works for the state. Doesn't believe there are any wild cats, just pets turned loose. Same goes for wolf sightings. Lots of Bobcats though. The organization at the link is probably the most reliable that I have found. Read the entire original article, the guy knows his stuff.

http://www.easterncougarnet.org/bigpicture.html
 

skip3

Explorer
Nov 21, 2009
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cc tx, Green Bank Nj
well it was supposed to have been taken on the King ranch. But I guess I better check with a friend who's a guide out there. I think that pic has gotten around more than a few girls i know. My boss used to have a girl who was working on her masters at the university go to his ranch to trap and study cougars, never met her but she had to be more man than me cause the first time I saw one it scared the crap out of me and I was 75 yds away and had a 30-06
 

Aaron

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Jul 29, 2007
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I know Cumberland county has Bobcats, Cougars in New Jersey would shock me. I did however see a Lemur run in front of my car last summer, I was about 5 miles from the Cape May Zoo, it was obviously an escaped animal.
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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me and my cousin saw a cougar on the mullica in 78 when i was 14.it was in a tree in the savannahs in early spring and when we spotted it as we approached it jumped out of the tree and splashed across the savannah onto the left high ground(heading downstream).it was about 5 ft long with a long tail and beige.it was about 10 ft up in a tree and had it's rear end on a higher limb then it's front end.I know my critters and i don't need a college degree to be able to properly identify a large American mammal as some biologists would have us believe.The barrens are big enough and thick enough and cats are just slick enough to avoid detection for years.how many of you have ever seen a weasel or a mink?we have em but in all my yars I've seen one weasel(not counting tracks in snow) and have never seen a mink.i have seen maybe half a dozen otter in nj and onl 2 beaver in daylight.saw several more kayaking in the dark (full moon).
I have had a lot of disbelief about this over the years but I know what we saw.
Al
 

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Al, I did see a mink behind Bamber on the Chamberlin Branch about 10 years ago. My dog treed him. Never saw a weasel or any kind of large cat.
 

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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Bob I believe I may have saw a bobcat once when i was 14.i showed whip the place yesterday.it was honestly so fast i couldn't tell you if it was or not.it was the right color and appeared to be large enough and it was miles from the neares house on the west side of union lake and it acted quite viscious,spit at me and showed it's teeth for a split second before vanishing into the swamp but it was so fast I couldn't be sure.
Al
 

46er

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Mar 24, 2004
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Folks see a lot of things in the Pines. they have been dumping unwanted things there for decades. I recall back in '99 a Bengal Tiger was roaming the woods of Jackson. There have been several reports of Wolf/dogs and I recall not too far back a report of a couple of alligator's in one of the lakes in the Pines. It doesn't mean there is a wild, breeding population of those animals though, just someone releasing an animal they no longer could care for or want. They eventually die or are captured. Most recently a Guinea pig was seen and rescued off of Carranza Rd :) The logistics. and environment, just aren't there for a wild, big cat in this state.

I've seen Mink many times, the best location I've found is either the north or south jetty of Barnegat inlet. Mostly early in the morning, but once during mid-day. This guy was fishing at IBSP.

[Photo removed - Ben]
 

Canoe_Junkie

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Nov 20, 2009
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I posted this thread because I have no doubt that what people are seeing are mountain lions. THE real question is:

1. Is there a population living in the Pines?
2. Are they escapees from someone's personal zoo?
3. Are they transient and just moving through?

Although some would suggest that #1 above is highly unlikely, I don't think consideration is being given to the sheer size of uninhabited areas within the Pines. And with a substantial food source... I don't mean just deer; a family group “could” survive here. Therefore, a vestigial population (e.g. non-breeding) could roam about and coupled with the species’, instinct to avoid humans, they could certainly be here now, with sightings popping up every now and then. In addition to these sightings, a mountain lion was confirmed in the very nearby state of Delaware in 2002.
Wildlife Ecology is really not my field, nor am I receiving grants for this type of research, so if I were pressed for an answer to the question above, I could make an educated guess without any repercussion to my reputation or believability. So… my guess is that there is a small family group comprised of two or more individuals that is sometimes transient and sometimes hunkered down in the area for one or more years. This of course raises another question. Are they escaped from captivity or have they been moving in from the Western states over the years? Both theories can be proven or disproven, so take your pick.
 

46er

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Interesting theory. One issue that may copmplicate it is Cougar's do not live in 'family groups'. They are solitary animals, associating at breeding time. Kit's leave Mom at about 1 1/2 - 2 years, when they begin to establish their own territory. Depending on the abundance of prey, each animal needs between 75 to 200 square miles of territory to hunt. Some signs that a Cougar is your neighbor would be the loss of cattle, sheep or horses, and I am sure F&W would hear about that should it be happening. They need to take prey at least once a week to sustain themself.

Good luck in your research and post some pictures when you get them :)
 

Canoe_Junkie

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Nov 20, 2009
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Let me clarify that I am not researching anything related to this.
Also, allow me to rephrase or define the term "family groups" as: a mother and her young offspring. Something you pointed out in your post
The figures that you quote for hunting teritory are statistical and therefore a range of numbers exist above and below these numbers. Though, regardless, a cougar in the Pines, whether transient or not would have far more than 200 square miles to hunt.... and since the Pines lack any real predators for large game (other than the automobile), that increases the density of prey animals and decreases the amount of territory needed to hunt.
Also, F&W has indeed looked into the possibility several times in the last ten years as I mentioned in my previous posts.