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Georgia Cougar Killed

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 21st, 2008

There was a puma shot last weekend near the Georgia/Alabama border, at West Point Lake, Georgia.

One of the primary articles notes that offiicials believe it was “an illegally held captive” puma.

The 140-pound, 88-inch cat was shot by deer hunter David Adams of Newnan on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land near the Georgia-Alabama border on November 16, 2008. He was perched in a tree stand on the government land near the community of Abbottsford, west of LaGrange, Georgia, on the Alabama border, the DNR said. He said that it came too close to him and he shot it in self-defense.

The officials think it was a feral captive cat because it had scuffed paw pads (often found in cats living on concrete), and few internal parasites. Kittenz, commenting on her shared story, says she thinks that is flimsy evidence to say conclusively “this was a captive and not a wild puma.”

Have any readers heard if any more has turned up in that area?

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


9 Responses to “Georgia Cougar Killed”

  1. shumway10973 responds:

    Is there concrete near by that it could have frequented?

  2. titantim responds:

    Loren

    The DNR is doing DNA tests on the cat supposedly to find out if it was wild or not. Who knows?

    Tim

  3. ejjury responds:

    I agree with titantim. DNA tests will show whether it is an Eastern Cougar or not. Also, concrete isn’t the only substance that will scuff up pads. If the area is near a quarry at all, or even an area with exposed rock surfaces you can get scuffing (depending on the type of exposed rock).

  4. mackdaddy responds:

    I was under the impression that the Eastern Cougar was extinct outside of Florida. Aren’t all of the ones being spotted in the east expansions of the Western Cougar or released ferals? I just can’t see the Florida Panther making its way north.

    There are too many researchers watching too few critters. I imagine the hundred or so panthers each with about six or seven college students, biology researchers, state fish and game types, and amateur cryptologists following them around, collecting scat, and putting plaster in tracks, and generally making nuisances of themselves.

    If there really are cats making their way south or east then are they protected if they are shown to be feral releases? Does it matter if the cat is from North America since the North American Cougar is now classified as one subspecies except for the Florida Panther?

    And I am skeptical about the one that was just killed being a released pet. Declawed and defanged would be the only positive proof I would accept outside DNA.

    I live in a remote area of the west and have seen cougar sign all my life including having cougars snatch cats off my front porch but I have only seen two or three cats in the wild. They are thick as fleas here but you don’t see them very often so I can easily see them hiding for decades in some remote corners of the east.

    If officialdom does not recognize the sightings, most people won’t bother making the claim they saw the cat or it will not get recorded if it is seen.

  5. Alligator responds:

    Scuffed paws could indicate travel on a rocky surface, not necessarily concrete. I would agree, declawed -defanged would be much more conclusive. As for the lack of internal parasites, a young animal may not yet have developed as many in the gut as an older animal. Still it is to early to dismiss this as captive release or escapee.

    A few cougars have been turning up in central Florida well north of the Glades. These are primarily young males seeking new territory. I think the jaunt on up to the Georgia border is not that difficult. The cougar shot in Chicago was found to have come from the Black Hills – almost 900 miles and one hit by a train Red Rock Oklahoma also came from the Black Hills, almost 600 miles.

    Cougars, mountain lions, panthers whatever you want to call them, are much more mobile than we’ve given them credit for, especially the young males. I would be interested in watching for autopsy and DNA results on this specimen.

  6. MrInspector responds:

    shumway10973 asks:”Is there concrete near by that it could have frequented?”

    I live in this area and I can assure you, that if there’s no concrete nearby, there is certainly asphalt. There are a lot of dirt and gravel roads over in Alabama, but here in Georgia, you’re hard pressed to find a road that isn’t covered with black-top.

    However, that’s not the only reason they think it was a captive animal. The other was that “State investigators also found the cat also had low parasite levels, which meant it wasn’t feeding on wild game. Cougars are no longer considered native to Georgia, though residents occasionally report seeing what they believe to be the large, long-tailed cats also known as panthers and mountain lions. The nearest breeding population is in southern Florida, where the animal is called the Florida panther.”

  7. hitmangg responds:

    I live in the area there are without a doubt wild animals out of place, people always see them then always freak out but I think they forget 1 thing to factor in…Pine Mt wild animal safari park! 15 minutes away from west pt. Lake through nothing but woods and forest. Am I the only 1 who sees the connection here, true this could be a wandered off animal from Fla or wherever but if was a scientist the first place I’d check is the park..duh..! Also the concrete thing, there is plenty of concrete u got several half mile bridges crossing the lake at diff. Points, an old abandoned rock quarry AND..west point dam which by the way is constructed of concrete along with the surrounding roads and structures. Lagrange resident 31 years I know what I’m talkin bout.

  8. ga_belle_76 responds:

    I live about 5 to 10 miles from West Point Lake, which is huge and I’m not sure where Mr Adams killed this cat. We have 8 acres of land in southwest Troup county and my fiance and I was walking around in the bottom about 2 weeks back and came across some tracks neither of us had ever seen, ( I grew up learning tracks and tracking from my granpa and my teenage boys do a good bit of studying and learning animal tracks as avid hunters ) so this morning I looked them up online and they are no doubt cougar tracks and about an inch deep in the ground (wet ground) . We have put an end to the kids playing in the woods as there are quite a few tracks, I’m hoping the tracks will still be there this weekend so we can go back and photograph them. We’ve had a lot of rain so who knows but I ain’t goin back down there alone to get some photos, lol. People say there aren’t any wild cougars/pumas in GA but for some of you, you’ll remember that there use to no be coyotes, armadillos and several other animals in GA and today we see them all the time and actually 2 years ago not 20 minutes from my house a GSP shot a black bear so it goes to show that you can simply rule it out based on so called experts that don’t live here.

  9. BFilmFan responds:

    The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported a story today that DNA tests have confirmed this was one of the Florida panthers.

    This would appear to end the argument over whether the cat was an escaped exotic.

    I was speaking to my father today and in the early 1950s in Rome, Georgia and Floyd County there was a grey timber wolf that was shot that had been killing local livestock. According to my dad, it killed all of my grandfather’s turkeys and a neighbor shot and killed it. Dad said that the night he saw it in the family’s cow pasture, it had 2 smaller animals with it, which he believes were pups.

    Rome still has a large amount of rural areas even to this day in the Cave Springs Road area, where my family resided. I recall in the early 1970′s wandering in the forests in the area and walking into a gathering of several hundred quail. I still laugh thinking about how my brother screamed like it was a horror movie when several of the birds ran over his feet.

    There was, and probably still is, plenty of livestock and wild animals in the area to provide several predators with a dependable source of food and water is easily found. I will see if I can find anything in the morgue of the local newspapers, as most of my older relatives have been deceased for at least a decade; and, I seriously doubt any of the neighbors that lived in the area then are still alive as they were all over 65 years of age, when my idea of scary was riding my bike down the hill from McHenry Elementary School so I could get home in time to watch Dark Shadows!



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