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Maine Cougar Sighted

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 17th, 2006

The Lincoln County News of Maine, May 17, 2006, is reporting in their article, “Cougar Sighted in Waldoboro,” of a recent encounter up the coast.

Reporter Paula Roberts writes:

On May 6, the last thing Joanne Campbell, of Old Rt. 1 in Waldoboro, expected to see when she got up shortly after 5 a.m., to retrieve the daily newspaper was a mountain lion in her yard.

“I looked out the door and there between the house and the woods were two mountain lions. The smaller one was about four feet long with a big long tail. The bigger one was about twice as long. They were tawny colored with black markings. They were beautiful with their big long tails and color,” Campbell commented.

Campbell said the smaller one made noises, “It howled like caw caw. It was quite exciting and a little scary.” After a short spell, the large cats went into the woods toward the deer yard located in the woods behind her house.

Campbell’s neighbor Ernestine Connelly also heard the younger cat’s cries at 5 a.m. “It was almost like it was barking but was high and piercing sound. It was a noise I had never heard before. It woke me up. I put the shades up fast!”

Connelly saw the smaller of the two cats around 8 a.m. “It ran out behind by the little shed and ran into her (Campbell’s) driveway. It was about four feet long with a long tail. It was about the size of a good size lab. I’d never seen one before,” Connelly said.

“It has all the makings of a credible sighting,” Maine Inland and Fisheries biologist Keel Kemper said of Campbell’s five minute observation of the cougar. Kemper did not go on scene because the sighting was not reported for a couple of days. Kemper said it was the first cougar sighting with offspring reported in Lincoln County.

“I assured her she could still go out and garden,” Kemper added. Cougars are illusive animals. There have been numerous sightings in Lincoln County and in Maine in the past 10 years. There have been no cougar attacks on humans in Maine.

Maine sightings of tawny cougars are more frequent than most people know. The Waldboro area has a history of sightings of black panthers, the more mysterious of the cat pack. Even cryptozoologist Matt Bille tells of how his father Don saw a huge black feline jump out in front of his car in rural east-central Maine in 1955.

Meanwhile, over in Michigan today, Dr. Brad Swanson and Dr. Patrick Rusz announced their findings in a scientific paper in the American Midland Naturalist, published by Notre Dame University. They discovered cougar droppings in scattered, remote regions of Michigan, between 2001-2003. In nearly 300 droppings collected from 12 areas of Michigan that had long histories of cougar sightings, ten of the profiles contained cougar DNA. One was a bobcat, another a dog. One DNA sequence from Delta County was long enough to identify it as a North American cougar.

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 “Maine Cougar Sighted”

  1. Kimble responds:

    Ha!

    I think “officially” there are no cougars in Maine. Of course, this article is just one of many stories I have heard.

    I work with a surgeon who had one cross his headlights while coming back from one of our rural hospitals last month.

    State biologist Keel Kemper says 3 out of 4 cougar sightings in Maine are mistaken identification of white tailed deer.

    Well, we know that’s true on Mt Hood ;). Yuk Yuk.

    Rob Carignan
    Portland, Maine

  2. MountDesertIslander responds:

    Loren,

    There are reports of cougars on Mount Desert Island. I know several people who have spotted one in Acadia National Park. All the official public services toe the same line, “there hasn’t been a confirmed sighting in Maine sine the 40’s.” Now, I don’t know what the usual range of a mountain lion is, but Acadia has about 44,000 acres of protected national park land.

    I built a house for a woman in Blue Hill, Maine (just down the coast about 10 miles by the crow flight) who has photos of one that frequented the area around her home. She claims that cougars are an accepted reality in her area.

    Also, there is a funny urban legend circulating about the Acadia Zoo which has a cougar exhibit. The story goes that one late fall night about 5 years ago the county sheriff was called because a cougar was seen loose on the zoo grounds. He called the zoo’s currator who raced to the scene only to find her exhibit still caged. A deputy claims to have seen the uncaged cougar exit the property.

    Again it’s all 2nd and 3rd hand information, but, it seems that there is at least smoke if not a fire here in Maine.

  3. twblack responds:

    I hope they do not go out with the guns and try and hunt down these cats.

  4. Doug responds:

    Went to Maine last summer in June and found it to be a beautiful place. Also, with the amount of wilderness I saw the state has, cougars are a good possibility. Deer being mistaken for whitetails? Possible I suppose, but not likely to those familiar with either creature.

  5. larzker responds:

    Cougars in Maine are entirely believable. I saw a black panther(it looked like a leopard) on the side of the beltway on a drive to Virginia in 1982. It looked like it was scared with all the cars driving by. There were about 5 of us in a van on the way to a job and only one other passenger saw it. We both said at the same time ”that was a black panther, right?” It was near Lion Country Safari although I don’t know if they even had leopards. I think it was an escaped exotic pet or zoo animal. It never entered my mind until this article that it could be a black cougar. I don’t think it was, do black cougars even exist? I couldn’t find one with a google search, any links to pics of a black American mountain lion?

    I thought I’d mention that even though this article is on cougars native to Maine.

  6. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    larzker,
    According to everything that is known, there is no melanistic (black) phase of the American mountain lion. Young are born with a spotted coat, but these black splotches fade as they grow.

    However, despite this, numerous “black panthers” sightings have been reported in the eastern United States over the years.

    In Adams County, Ohio, for instance, it is common knowledge among the people of the area that both black and tawny colored cats live in their woods. I had a college room mate whose friends purported to have video footage of a big black feline from the Davis Memorial State Preserve (a lovely little stretch of woods with amazing rock formations and tunnels carved out by the action of water), however I was never able to procur a copy.

    This, too, has nothing to do with Maine. However I can verify that Adams County is rugged, rural country more than capable of supporting a puma population, and it is not alone in the East. Lots of areas have woods sufficient to support big cat populations, and, in fact, medium to large predators like the bobcat and coyote are quite common.

    For those interested in “high strangeness” areas I’d suggest a visit to Adams County. In addition to reports of big cats, Adams county has reported hominoid/hominid activity, historic reports of giant snakes (it is also home of the amazing Serpent Mound effigy), and other non-cryptozoological mysteries, such as the church in Dunkinsville where a young girl was reportedly cured of an illness by an angel that left a burnt impression of itself on the outside of the church’s side door. I have seen this myself, and it is intriguing. However the church has reportedly been forced to remove the door due to continuing vandalism.

    I also had a friend who collected some freshwater jellyfish (Craspedacusta sowerbii) from an Adams County farm pond.
    It is an interesting area geologically too, with a couple of different soil types “butting against” one another, resulting in an abundance of pine and cedar in the more limestone rich soils in contrast to the broadleaf forest found in neighboring Scioto County’s Shawnee State Forest. This variety of habitat would seem to make Adams County a very attractive locale to a variety of critters and flora.

  7. traveler responds:

    gee if scientist wanted proof of cats in the U.P.(upper penninsula of MI) all they had to do was ask me. My family had 80 acres of land along the Ford River that was adjacent to Meade papermill lands. We saw mountain lions on several occasions. We have also come across what was obviously cat scat. We also had an elusive moose in that area, and some very very large bears

  8. larzker responds:

    Jeremy_Wells ,
    If there are black mountain lions I can imagine why there are no official photos. It’s not very often a person sees a regular mountain lion in the wild(I never have) much less a much rarer melanistic one(if they exist).

    Cougars are even in Palm Springs apparently. I was hiking at an Indian reservation there and came upon a sign which included mountain lions on a list of local fauna. I decided to get out of there!

  9. bill green responds:

    hi loren good evening wow thats great a cougar was sighted in maine. but cougars are seen all over new england state forests. i was just wondering if there was ever any sightings of cougars being seen with sasquatch creatures in forests just a idea. bill :)



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