University of Maryland Alert: Cougar on Campus

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 31st, 2008



July 31, 2008

There have been several reliable sightings of an animal fitting the description of a cougar on the campus. The description of the sighted cat is: light tan and tawny brown, about 4 feet long with a 4 foot tail, and weighing about 50 pounds. Several sightings have been reported from the area of Cole Field House, near the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, and continuing through the wooded areas to the area of the Comcast Center and Arena Drive Garage. There has been no report of aggressive behavior on the part of the animal, but community members are warned that cougars are a predatory species and that, if seen, the animal should not be approached.

If you see the animal, please contact the university police at 301-405-3555. University police are working with other agencies to remove the animal from the campus area.

Prepared by:

Captain John Brandt
Crime Prevention Unit

UMD ALERT – Receive campus emergency information on your text enabled device. Subscribe at or text UMD to 411911 from your device.


This note was authorized for distribution to
University of Maryland Community by:
Public Safety Director/Police Chief Kenneth W. Krouse

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

10 Responses to “University of Maryland Alert: Cougar on Campus”

  1. cryptidsrus responds:

    Hopefully, the cougar will be captured alive and nobody will get hurt…


  2. Bigfootnut99 responds:

    You know Loren, I just saw that report on the news and I thought to myself, “I bet Loren is going to post it on Cryptomundo.” And once again, you don’t disappoint! Thank you for being on top of things for the loyal readers of Cryptomundo.

  3. RastaLife32 responds:

    I actually live in Baltimore about 35 minutes from College Park, and I knew Loren would post this. I’ve been saying for quite some time now that Cougars are going to gradually start moving east with the boom in the deer population. I can drive literally 2 minutes to my friends house and see well over 20 deer in just that short period. People do not believe cougars, pumas, mountain lions, catamounts, panthers, whatever you would like to call them, live east of the Mississippi. There has been a spike of sightings east of the Mississippi reporting both big black cats and mountain lions. I do not find this to be an oddity at all. In fact, I could see more of these stories coming from areas close by. A couple years ago we had a black bear in Owings Mills (25 min from Baltimore) ravaging through dumpsters. There bear was a small male that had been forced out by larger more dominant bears. There is prime habitat here in Maryland to sustain such beasts. Western Maryland is very rocky terrain and the suburbs outlying Baltimore have some very thick forests, especially Loch Raven. This is a very cool story, but a story that I hope occurs again soon because the deer here are out of control.

  4. Bigfootnut99 responds:

    You know what’s ironic is that when I was in high school our mascot was a cougar, and we’re in MD just under the PA border. Hmm, crypto-connection?

  5. RastaLife32 responds:

    Would that happen to be Fallston?

  6. skretch responds:

    I live in Greenbelt, right outside of College Park. I’m tempted go out in my car right now and take a look around!

  7. Shelley responds:

    I remember that when I went to UMd to do research in 1997 there was a large park/wild area that runs alongside the campus and comes right up next to campus. The campus itself is very wooded on that side, so I can see wildlife coming up there.

    In Carbondale we had a deer come all the way up to the center of town using the railroad tracks as a highway, so if there are any predators on deer, they will eventually follow. Cougars were native to the area up to the early 20th century, and there are rumors and partial sightings. As well as the definitive sighting–a dead body–of a bobcat twenty-five miles away.

    I hope no one gets hurt, two-legged or four-legged in this situation.

  8. Bigfootnut99 responds:

    RastaLife, actually no, I’m a little farther northwest, Thurmont actually. Right next to Camp David.

  9. helgarde responds:

    For several years, I lived in Columbia, Maryland, which is really not too far from College Park, and I used to drive to College Park all the time to teach culinary classes and to cook for personal chef clients.

    There is a lot of wildlife that you would not think about living in the urban and suburban areas around the Baltimore/DC area. Friends in Baltimore had a fox who would sit on their porch and look in the screen door at their cat, and I saw a dead coyote in the road in Jessup, Maryland. (I got out and checked and no, it was not a dog.) In my back yard, I saw a peregrine falcon up in a tree, and while driving on a highway near the house, my husband and I saw a bald eagle swooping over the road, and catching a rabbit. (That was magnificent!) We also saw the eagle or his mate flying low over the highway several other times.

    There was also the aforementioned bear (which was mistaken for a Sasquatch in early reports), and I have heard of other sightings of cougars in more outlying areas just a handful of miles outside of the suburbs, generally north of Baltimore around I95.

    Wildlife adapts, and that is how it is. If we take their habitat, then we should not be surprised if they come into our habitat.

    I, like others, just hope that no one gets hurt as officials try and trap and move the cougar.

  10. Lightning Orb responds:

    That’ll be a nice greeting to some poor lonely student late coming home, walking alone in the dark…

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