Ever Seen a Mountain Lion? These People Think They Have
Yesterday my former colleague Mike Risinit had a good story in the Journal News. What jumped out at me was the number of people who said they had seen mountain lions in eastern Putnam and Dutchess counties, along Route 22, near the Connecticut border. Here are some excerpts from Mike's story and from the online comments about it:
... a Patterson family spotted a possible mountain lion in their Somerset Drive yard.
Nicole Rubin, the Patterson mother who said last month that she saw a mountain lion, said several neighbors reached out after seeing The Journal News article about her feline sighting and shared similar stories. John Prophet of Patterson, who lives a mile away from Rubin, said he saw a mountain lion - "big head, big body, long, long tail - in his yard about five years ago....
Christine Belcher, who lives in Dutchess County, said she was driving near her home last month and had to stop her Honda CR-V to let three mountain lions cross Dover Furnace Road.
"It was like a momma and a couple of smaller ones with a long tail, a flat face and big ears," she said, recalling the animals that were so close she could see their whiskers. "In my mind, I called it a mountain lion."... I'm sure i saw a mountain lion a year and a half ago on rt.22 just north of wingdale. it was about 75 yards ahead of me running across 22. I distinctly remember that long thick tail and tight fur, it wasn't a dog and wasn't a bobcat....
... I previously posted that I saw a mountain lion this year in Dutchess CO. and after talking to family and neighbors, I have learned that there has been several sightings in the past. One sighting was a road kill. The same person who saw this had one run across Rt.22 in the same area several weeks later....
That area is not exactly wilderness but it is the heart of the 6,000-acre Great Swamp and it's close enough to the Taconic Ridge, the Berkshire Mountains and the Highlands so that I suppose it's not implausible that some mountain lions are holed up there, or at least pass through with some regularity.
Mike's story includes a photo that someone submitted purporting to be a mountain lion in Columbia County. I wish he had said when it was taken and by whom. (Thursday a.m.: Mike told me yesterday that the shot was taken by the brother of a colleague of his, using one of those cameras that are triggered when wildlife moves into its path.)