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Track of the Cat

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 28th, 2009

The Morning Sentinel for June 28, 2009, has confirmed that a track has been found in conjunction with the Winslow, Maine sighting.

In an article that covered much of the same ground as the earlier report, no pun intended, the following new details about the track emerged. Scott Monroe penned the news item:

A state wildlife biologist has investigated the reported sighting of a mountain lion in Winslow.
The biologist, Kendall Marden, didn’t find any evidence such as hair or feces to scientifically confirm the presence of the animal.

But something else was discovered: what appears to be a large paw print in sand and dirt by the side of the road. It appears to measure 6 to 9 inches long and 5 inches wide.

* * *

Wally Jakubas, mammal-group leader for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the agency’s point person on mountain lions, said [Lin] Stout’s description of the animal seemed to fit. Jakubas also said there had been another possible mountain-lion report last week in the north Augusta area, in which a feces sample (also known as scat) was recovered and is being analyzed.

Jakubas said Thursday that the scat had been found in the middle of a driveway and no tracks were found around it.

“I and a couple other biologists are going to take a closer look at it,” he said.

Late Tuesday, Marden inspected the scene in Winslow, Stout said. He found indentations that would indicate the spot where the animal had been laying, but no genetic evidence was recovered, Stout said.

Stout said Marden requested that she look up photos of fisher cats, which are commonly mistaken for mountain lions. Stout said she spent hours researching online and she and her sons looked at many pictures of fisher cats.

“It was not a fisher cat,” Stout said.

* * *

[After the earlier newspaper article,] Rob Winter said he and other co-workers, jokingly, thought they would look around the South Ridge Drive area. Winter, employed by Dunn Builders of Vassalboro, has been working at a house-construction site just down the road from Stout’s property.
“It’s definitely a large, cat-like print,” Winter said. “We have a couple of large dogs here on site and, compared with their prints, it’s colossal.”

Shown an image of the print, Jakubas said, “I cannot say what made it.”

“It looks like at least two tracks on top of one another — 9 inches of disturbed soil,” Jakubas said. “I cannot distinguish toe pads or even a general shape from the picture.”

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.


4 Responses to “Track of the Cat”

  1. DWA responds:

    Well, at least Maine has a point person on mountain lions. And they seem to be going about this in the right way.

    It’s fine to be skeptical…just so long as your brains don’t get squeezed out through your ears. ;-)

    And for those who don’t know: “fisher cat” is a misnomer. The fisher – no “cat” – is more a big weasel than any sort of cat, and no one will mistake a fisher for a mountain lion who has any idea what either one looks like. I for one would love to know how “common” that mistake is. It sounds like a “common” toss-off by game folks who presume the public knows nothing. (One will see a fisher about as often as one will a mountain lion.)

    The size difference alone would tip just about anyone off, besides which a fisher looks more like a fox than it does a cat.

  2. CryptoInformant 2.0 responds:

    I wonder… was a cast made of this print? Were photos, at the very least taken? It would be nice to see the print for ourselves.

  3. Loren Coleman responds:

    Weird. In a version of this posting, I had noted “no photo image is available.” I see it didn’t get saved to the blog.

    Anyway, here’s what I know. While the photograph of the track was in print editions of this story in Maine, no online versions of the picture of the “paw print,” as the local newspapers called it, have shown up.

    To the best of my knowledge, only one photo of a track was taken and no plaster copies were cast.

  4. CryptoInformant 2.0 responds:

    Well, hopefully the photo will eventually circulate onto the internet.

    No plaster copies, huh? Sounds like someone isn’t taking the whole “collecting evidence” schtick seriously over in Winslow.



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