Lions Confirmed

PA Mountain LionYou read it here first: Mountain lions still exist in Pennsylvania:

Just prior to the start of Pennsylvania’s two-week firearms deer season, the volunteers at the Eastern Puma Research Network put out a call to hunters. They wanted to hear from anyone who saw a mountain lion or signs of one, like tracks or scats.

Lion sightings they got. Hard evidence that wild, free-ranging mountain lions are living in the state they did not.

“It’s so hard to pin anything down,” said John Lutz, the West Virginia man who heads the network, a non-scientific affiliation of mountain lion seekers across the eastern United States. “A cougar or puma is like a UFO with four feet.”

That doesn’t stop some from believing mountain lions do exist in the East. Lutz and several other volunteers are planning to travel to Bedford County within a few days of the next snowfall, in fact, to look for cougar sign because several sightings have been reported there in recent months.

Remember this post from February 28, 2005″

An Amish farmer along 944 in Cumberland County complained to the PGC a mountain lion was killing his sheep. They came out and investigated. Their conclusion: “Sir, you don’t have a mountain lion.” A week later the farmer shot the mountain lion. The very sad news: there was a PGC ear tag on it.

Or this one from Valentine’s Day last:

One solution [to the loss of ginseng] that [this complete “nut” ] believes will ensure the herb’s survival is to reintroduce mountain lions, wolves or other natural predators to the Appalachians.


UPDATE:  Check out this photo!

UPDATE: An alert reader took this photo late September, 2008, from his trail camera near Plummer, PA.

UPDATE: An alert reader sent this photo of a mountain lion taken about three weeks ago (September 2009) near Farmington, Pa, in Fayette County. It had recently killed a buck and was dragging it across the road.
UPDATE: Well, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet…turns out this was not in PA:

119 Comments on “Lions Confirmed

  1. Waitaminit, not so fast, as I read the article, the Couger Network says: “I think what we would say is that there is no credible evidence right now of a mountain lion population in Pennsylvania.” It is preposterous to think otherwise. Fuzzie, I would like to sell you the PA Turnpike for one dollar!!

  2. Deal.
    One Dollar for the entire PA Turnpike. Great buy. Now, if I can only close it during hunting season, since all the deer are around it.

    Lion sightings they got. Hard evidence that wild, free-ranging mountain lions are living in the state they did not.

    “It’s so hard to pin anything down,” said John Lutz, the West Virginia man who heads the network, a non-scientific affiliation of mountain lion seekers across the eastern United States. “A cougar or puma is like a UFO with four feet.”

    That doesn’t stop some from believing mountain lions do exist in the East. Lutz and several other volunteers are planning to travel to Bedford County within a few days of the next snowfall, in fact, to look for cougar sign because several sightings have been reported there in recent months.

  3. Folks, the above article is slightly different then what I originally said. Since beginning studies in 1965, we have accumulated a considerable amount of hard evidence, including plaster casts of confirmed tracks, photographs & videotapes that had been confirmed as a cougar or black panther and most recently discoveries of deer kill sites in svereal easetrn states.
    Hard evidence does exist and has been confirmed by independent professional scientists. However, most wildlife officials absolutely refuse to acknowledge the evidence, thus they continue to bury their heads in the sand, hoping the big cats will disapper.
    Even a few DEAD pumas have been found & identified after being struck & killed on highways in New York, Kentucky, Michigan, Illinois & Pennsylvania. That’s right folks, even in Pennsylvania.
    John A. Lutz, Director, Eastern Puma Reserach Network

  4. I have recently (1/13 -1/15 – 2006) spotted a mountain lion, at my developement in Elizabethtown, PA. It was ealry saturday morning, about 2:30 AM, I was out having a smoke on my porch. I heard a very low growling, and couldn’t make out what it was. The next morning the littel girl next door, came out and said, that her dad had seen a mountian lion, or as it was stated a large cat around the woods behind our houses. Sunday morning around 1:00 AM, my dog was acting very strangely (she barks at cats all the time in the neighborhood) and agian I was headed out for a smoke. I saw a very large for a cat, small for the local stray dogs, moving at the other neighbors house about 30 yards away. I usually see alot of stray cats around, but not this weekend. Right about 3:00 AM, I heard 3 shots, in succession, off in the direction I noticed the large form was headed, when I spotted it. I have not seen or heard it since. But now I keep my shotgun, beside the back door. I had thought about telling the game comission, but the neighbor who also spotted it did that, and they told him he was seeing things. Who knows. For location information, I live in E-Town between Middletown, and E-town, main cities, alon Rt. 230. The state game lands is behind my house at about 200 yards. The access trail to get to it is 1 mile from the entrance to my developement, at Cedar Manor.

  5. Hi madpenguin. This is Ad Crable, outdoors editor of the Lancaster New Era. I saw your post here about seeing a cougar. I am doing research currently on a story about the possibility they still exist in Pennsylvania. Could you please contact me at 481-6029 from 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. or in the evenings at 399-2911. Thanks. I need to hear from you no later than Thursday.

  6. Justwanted to let you know that on june 7,2006 I saw a mountain lion here in Potter county ,Pa. I saw it in a field about 2 miles from Keating Summit on route 155 heading toward Port Alleghany, Pa. I have hunted and trapped most my life and have also seen numerous bobcats and it wasn;t one either. I know what I saw and the other day a friend told me he saw one to just about 3 miles south of the same place.

  7. I believe I spotted a mountain lion on Laural Hill Summit in Westmoreland, Co PA. While out walking along the Laural Hill Hiking Trail I took a side trail that took me out to a dirt road that runs along the top of the ridge. About 300 or so yards away I spotted something standing in the middle of the dirt road, at first it looked like a deer, but once it started moving it had much larger legs and walk more like a cat then what a deer walks like. Just wished I got a better look at it. Could this have been a Mountain Cat?

  8. Ok I have spent most of my life stomping around the woods in PA, I am not sure if big cats have come back to pa or not. I have not seen one in
    person. It is my understanding that black cats or panthers are not just a color phase like black squirels are. Instead they are native to South
    America. So I don’t put much credability in those reports of seeing a black cat. But even more shocking to me was to find out after reading the
    article asking hunters to be aware and look for and report any sign to an organization that was started in the early 80’s. Who was thinking about
    big cats back then. We were haveing a hard time getting anyone to believe us about coy dogs or coyotes. So are we looking for a wild cat that migrated
    its way back to PA, Or are we looking for somebodies big pet that would like to see them repopulate the Commonwelth.

  9. I seen mountain lion or some big cat on a Dirt bike trail. On the railroad bed between Delano and lofty woods. I was moving along with some speed and came to a slow corner. As so I came around the bend to the left I seen part of the head and shoulders back jumping up the on bank. I didn’t think much of it at the time. But I was told there are no big cats in pa. It was tan in color as I seen.

  10. I saw what I believe to be a mountain lion or some kind of very large feline. It was on December 10th, 2006. I was waiting for my ex to pick up my daughter and my girl friend saw what she said was a mountain lion in the woods near our house. It was around 3:30PM which surprized me because I thought that large cats like that would stay more hidden until night fall. I managed to get a picture with my digital camera but the mountain lion was some distance away.

  11. i live in west caln town ship chester county pa my neibior
    is a very well know archer ,very recently spoted a mountian lion three times
    during october /nov hunting within 1/2 mile of our res. just though everyone should know
    they are here

  12. I saw a mountain lion last night on my way home from work. It was about 8:30 at night at the border between Bucks and Lehigh counties. It was just slowly crossing the road headed into a wooded patch. I was surprised to know that big cats live so close to me.

  13. It was in 2004. I was at my kitchen sink and watching out the window up onto a path behind my house. To the north of my house is land that is owned by the water authority. That is when I saw a fox running with something in its mouth. I thought to myself, “Lucky fox, wonder what he has.” Next thing I saw was a huge feline chasing after him. It was way too big to be a housecat. It was more about the size of my 100 pound labrador retriever. For you skeptics, I well know the difference between canine and feline, and it was definetly feline. I immediately recalled that a few months prior to the sighting that my son and myself were woken up to this loud screaming coming from the land behind my house. It was scary, loud and sounded like a screaming banchee. Both my son and I, being curious about anything regarding nature, were scared to death to go outside. We had never heard that sound before and haven’t heard it since. The screaming lasted about an hour. It wasn’t until I saw the fox incident that I suspected it was a mountain lion. A couple months later I was telling a taxidermist about it and he told me that he had reports from hunters that they insisted they saw lions during hunts. I live in Carbon County and have seen everything from bear, deer, foxes, to coyote. I have never heard or seen this animal again. I am convinced it was a mother mountain lion trying to save her cub. I was blessed to see it, but most people I share the story with are argumentive. I guess seeing is believing.

  14. I saw a mountain lion(Coger, whatever) slightly less than full grown on the road outside of my development midway between Gouldsboro and Newfoundland in Septemper on 2006. Despite much critism to thye contrary I know it was a mountain lion and am anxious to know of anyone else who could confirm my sighting.

  15. I seen a mountain lion last week , he was being followed , by BIGFOOT as a matter of fact!!!

  16. I saw a very large black cat in my yard 3/18/07. It was about the size of a bobcat but black with a very long tail.
    What was it?

  17. I know how unbelievable this sounds but I will never forget it. About 20 years ago, I saw a very large black or dark brown cat when I was walking up my driveway in rural McKean County (near Bradford) at dusk one night. It was as big as my Irish Setter; it was about 20 yards in front of me pouncing on something small that I could not see. I stopped in shock; it took off into the nearby woods. I told people but other than to say there had been similar sightings, no one knew what to make of it.
    It’s my only sighting. Never saw bigfoot, ufos, ghosts, or an honest politician.

  18. My boyfriend and I have also spotted a mountain lion. We live in the back of duncannon and the mountain lion was on the edge of the woods walking. we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. We were able to grab the binoculars and look and my boyfriend grabbed the camera and started sneaking down trough the field to get a picture but it spotted him so he got a picture and we had it blown up a few sizes but it is blurry from being enhanced and you can make it out if you know what it is, but it is our word since we are the only ones who saw it. The game commission was contacted but they said that it probably wasn’t a mountain lion. but we definitely know what we saw.

  19. I don’t believe you can discount so many separate reports. Just because there is a lack of abundant hard evidence, that does not disprove their existence. PA is loaded with Bobcat but if you ask people who spend a great deal of time in the woods they will admit very few sightings. I was born and raised in the country and after 44 years in the outdoors, I can count on one hand my bobcat sightings. How many bobcat remains are found in the woods? How many bobcat are found dead on the road? Bobcat are very elusive, I’m sure cougars are even more-so. It’s only a matter of time before a photo and story of one is plastered all over the PA papers. I just hope it isn’t tied to a tragic event.

  20. cougars are being seen in the beech creek rd area from rt144 to beech creek.this is clinton county,pa.

    pgc will not admit there are cougars..

  21. Jim Thorpe PA Pleasent Valley West. Niegbor sighted long body, long tail outside looking out her window. Looked agian, saw pointed ears and the cat ran off. She has lived hear many years has seen sevral Bobcats most surely knows this was not a Bobcat. The following weekend my son and his friend were outback in the yard and noticed sevral footprints of large cat prints in the snow. This was not a bear, dog, or a house cat. We called the PGC I was told that there were NO such thing as a Mountian Lion in PA, it must of been mistaken for a Bobcat. Watching and waiting for next sight.

  22. I on april 3rd I was walking my dog behind the franklin mint I was down by the creek when I came across a large footprint. I could’nt image what would make a print like this, it was larger then any print a dog would leave. So I thought it might be a wolf or a bear. As I walked further I saw more prints and decided to turn around. Later I looked up footprints online and realized that the footprint wasnt a bear, or a wolf. So I looked up what a bobcat footprint would look like and it was on that website that the footprint I saw was identical to a mountian lion. I wouldnt think that this would be possiable around here. Does anyone know who I should contact about this because I would hate to see someone get hurt.

  23. It is improbable,bordering on idiotic to not see the inevitable.I live in Boardman,Ohio which is a suburb of Youngstown,minutes from the Pennsylvania state line. As I hunt,hike and fraternize with many in the Keystone State(most beautiful place on Earth), the concensus regarding the return of the catamount is strong.Sporadic sightings in Pennsylvania can no longer be dismissed as mere folly and within twenty years,or less,the Commonwealth will again become part of his permanent range.there are entirely too many white tailed deer (and this close to Canada,for that matter)for his return to not happen!As an NRA Benefactor member and avid outdoorsman I’m more than enchanted by the return of this most masterful predator;as he again takes his rightful place in a flawless ecological calculus that could only have been the result-NOT OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN- but omniscient!!

  24. Not sure if many have heard, but I did find an article on the internet a couple of weeks ago that stated the PGC has confirmed mountain lion tracks in Fulton County. I am posting an article here that talks about it, and also discusses a confirmed mountain lion in 2004. The mountain lion in Fulton County is in the Crystal Spring area. Sightings in Bedford County (bordering Fulton) have gone through the roof in the last year. I have spoken to many reputable people who have spent years in the woods, and all insist they know what they have been seeing.

  25. There really are these “lions” in Pa. I know they exist here. There are footprints in my backyard not too long ago. And t was said to be a bobcat. Id like to see a Bobcat with the footprint nearly one size bigger than mine! Can the game commision hide this from us? Can this be there best well hidden secrets in Pa???? I hope we dont find out the hard way.

  26. i saw a flying dog trying to eat a pancake moster outside my winow today!!! can there be pancake monsters in Pa????? thats like saying theres a lion in pa to.

  27. Just like Robert Cazille I to live in W. Caln township. About 8 months ago I was rehabbing my knee and was sitting in one of the rooms of Soar rehab on business RT. 30 which is 2 mins from where I live. It was about 8 AM. While I was waiting I was looking out of the window and saw a large animal in the neighbors yard behind Soar. My first reaction was it was a Dog. I have 2 large dogs and the more I watched it the more it looked and moved like a large cat to me. It was stalking something by a large tree. It was brown, had a long tail that just before it hit the ground it curled up and the tip of it was black. I am 99.9% sure that what I saw was a cougar. The scary thing is it was just a couple yards down from a day care.

  28. We have just recently had a disturbing run-in with a mountain lion up on our newly established home on 13 acres. We live near East Brady on the Butler/Armstrong Co. line. We heard a scream one night about 11:30 PM and our dog began to yelp in pain. My father-in-law made it to our front door quickly enough to see the mountain lion leaping off our front deck and running around the back side of the house. Only thing that saved the dog was the fact he made it into his kennel. The mountain lion/cougar paced our woodline for quite some time after that, we could hear it making a strange grunting noise and were able to get glimpses of it with the mag-lite. PGC told me we probably saw a Maine Coon cat. Ridiculous. They also said in the same breath that if it continued to be a nuisance and took it down, to call them so they could come and gather data from it.

  29. Jessica from East Brady… Can you please give me additional information as to where you leave near the Butler / Armstrong County border near East Brady. I grew up, and still live in the area near Parker. I have extensive experience in the woods and hills surrounding the Brady area from Parker to Brady. I too am like you and firmly convinced of the exsistence of mountain lions in PA. Due to the fact that this sighting is relatively recent I would like to further investigate. I spend at least 3-days a week in the woods in that area. Please respond to this board with any additional information.

  30. On 07/04/07 at 8pm while sitting on my side porch I saw a mountain lion run across my neighbors yard. I know my cats and was not mistaken it was at least 7 foot from nose to tail. There is a deer trail at that spot it crossed. My house is in Berks County, PA. near Boyertown.

  31. I was driving at dusk in Wayne County near Hawley PA on Saturday, June 30, 2007 and saw two mountain lions cross leisurely in front of my truck. One large, sandy colored the size of a medium/small dog, and a smaller baby one. They were most certainly not house cats as the small one was the size of a full grown cat and the other was considerably larger. They lept onto a rock wall across the street, walked along the wall a bit then jumped off into the woods.

  32. There has been several sightings of mountain lions in Clarion Co. Perry Twp. area. A mother and cubs has been spotted.

  33. 973-769-9053
    I saw a mountain lion up in Equinuck, Pennsylvannia (Zip code)18417. I saw tracks and I measured them to be a four inch pad. It was definitley a mountain lion track. My neighbor also saw one too. This occurred on July 23rd, 2007. Call me if you need any information

  34. I spotted a mountain lion on Rt. 30 in Frazer PA on 8-1-07 at approximately 4 AM. I am not a hunter nor a woodsman but I know what I saw. I always keep my eyes open when driving at night due to the deer population in this area but this blew me away. At first I suspected it was a deer but it was definitely a cat…..a big cat. I stopped a policeman about a mile from where I spotted it and he looked at me like I was nuts. I know for a fact that this was a mountain lion somewhere around 150 lbs., feet the size of softballs and a tail about 3 feet long and very large in diameter.

  35. Live in Harleysville PA. ABout 12 months ago was walking with a friend along a walking trail near a creek. Right off of PA 63. Heard the wildest sceeching noise I ever heard. It sounded like a large cat that was being pulled a part. Both he and I decided to pick up the pace. I have run past that spot 30+ times since then and never heard it again. Fast forward a few months. A woman reports seeing a mountain lion near a small pond early this summer. The pond is at the begining of the trail. Everyone thought she was crazy.

    2 weeks ago from tpday 7 neighbors reported seeing a mountain lion walk right down their street around 9AM. Street is located near the trail. I believe they were getting the kids ready for soccer so they were all out. They have supposedly found the den where it lived (right where I heard the screaming 12 months earlier. They believe that 3 animals bedded down at the spot. They are all freaked out and have spot lights blazing away all night. My guess is that the lions will move on. Probbaly into Evansville park which is connected by the stream bed. At leasst that’s where I would go.

    The incident was in the Harleysville paper and I do not run down by the stream bed at dawn alone anymore.

  36. In response to number 8 above, I spotted something OTHER than a bobcat on US Route 6 just a mile or so east of Port Allegany, PA, crossing the highway right in front of me. The cat stopped and looked right at me and I got a good look at it enough to know it was NOT a bobcat, housecat, dog, turtle, deer, racoon, rooster, or any other animal, vegetable, or mineral. I have seen bobcats before and I hunt and hike frequently so I know what bobcats look like and this was NOT a bobcat. It had a definitive black stripe down the middle of its forehead that caught my eye as well as smooth, shorter-hair, more solid color reddish brown fur, with white underneath. It had what I can only describe as a wide face with wide-set eyes. It was about the size of a medium dog and looked to be about 3-4 feet long and maybe 2 feet high. The tail was long, much longer than a bobcat’s. This was just spotted last week, September 19, 2007 at 4:30 on a sunny afternoon.

  37. I just saw a mountian loin outside of my house. I live outside Port Allegany PA. It was less than 200 feet from my house on the mountain behind my yard. I saw him clearly. There is a creek at the bottom of the hill, so it may have been getting some water. It saw me and just walked up the hill into the woods. I am sure that it was a cougar, I saw him clearly. The trees at the bottom of the hill are not thick at all.

  38. Also in Frazer area (chester co. ) property backs up to large wooded tract. Tonight, 5:20, heard the Screaming” sound of the mountain lion behind the house over at the edge of the woods. Heard it abouta month ago also, but just one night. We last heard this about 6 years ago, also in the fall. Saw the mountain lion about 12 years ago sitting at the back edge of our property–tan color,at first thought it was a short haired large dog, but then it slowly walked along the weedline…and it had a long skinny tail. We normally have alot of deer eating the fallen apples but this fall we have seen very few. Do the deer know we have company?

  39. From an alert reader:
    I have seen what I believe to be mountain lion tracks here in Luzerne County. I
    was recently bow hunting in october near Jonestown Mountain and saw large cat
    prints on a trail embedded into a sizeable mud pit….i know what coyote tracks
    look like and this was definitely feline.

  40. in 2001 I saw what was probably the same mt lion twice in the same field . This was the Shay area of Armstrong County Pa. It crossed directly in front of me, turning to look directly at me,and thankfully kept going. It made no sound. I can understand why there aren’t many pictures, you are caught completely off guard when you see one, and I certainly wasn’t looking for one. This was very large .Very long thick dragging tail, I’d say as long as the body. I was dumb enough to actually go look where it went, as soon as gained my composure, and it was like it disappered into thin air. It traveled with it’s body very low to the ground, so I would imagine it could have been hidden in the tall grass. That’s where it came from, and then crosssed a well worn wide trail, then right back into the tall grass of another field.This wasn’t a case of looking for something to believe in, I had never even thought about it. Actually, I always wanted to see a bobcat, but I have still not seen one of those. A mt. lion wasn’t in my wildest dreams, but there he or she was. And I’m talking within 40 ft. if not closer.It was a beatiful animal, but I really do not wish to have them around here. I hate to see anything killed, but i don’t want our pets and livestock brought down by any of these. The neighbors goats had been attacked and killed by something months earlier, and now I think that’s probably what happened to them.

  41. Just found this message board and thought I would post my sighting. In October 2006, a fellow field researcher and myself were hiking on top of Chestnut Ridge in Westmoreland Co. Near one of the bear ponds (built by PGC), at approximately 100yds distance I spotted something crouching close to the ground. At first I thought it was a dog or a bear cub, that is until it spotted us and took off down into the woods. The best description I can give is that it had a large round head with small pointed ears (didn’t see a face because it was looking away from us), when it leaped up I could tell it had a thick, round body 3 to 4feet in length and a thick tail that looked to be about two feet in length and between 1 or 2inches in diameter. The fur was either black or dark brown, not the typical beige color of a north american mountain lion. When the animal spotted us, it did a vertical leap and took off running with the front dual feet motion of a large cat (similar to what you would see when Wild Kingdom or Animal Planet shows a jaguar or leopard chasing its prey) My friend and I did a lengthy search of the woods in the direction the animal ran, but could not find any tracks or other evidence. The following weekend I returned to the area and baited several locations with raw ground meat, hot dogs, and fish. I found a location at the base of a tree on a hillside overlooking the site, where I hoped to capture a photo with my 400power zoom lens SLt camera. After about 3 hours I gave up. I have been hiking the ridge line for about 8yrs and have never seen anything like what I saw in 2006.
    In January 2002 near this same location, 3 of us tracked what appeared to be mountain lion tracks for over 2 miles in 15inches of snow. The tracks were about 4inches in diameter at the widest point with a 3 1/2 foot stride between front leg to opposing hind leg. What we found odd was the distinctive drag mark between the tracks that we believed was made by a long tail. The PGC was notified in 2002 and 2006, but of course we received the rehearsed response, “We don’t have mountain lions in Pennsylvania”! I know what I saw and I sincerely believe that either mountain lions are re-populating in PA or we have several rogue cats passing through the state. I will be returning to the area again this weekend and if I find any new evidence I will be posting it on this message board.

  42. I saw a mountain lion in McKean County. Late one afternoon I was taking some video of a Jacob’s creature (also known as a mangy black bear) and then all of the sudden a Pennsylvania Puma lept from the bushes and pounced on the Jacob’s creature. They fought for a while and it was vicious. After several minutes they stoppend and then ran off together to watch the sunset over the Allegheny Reservoir. I think they were hoping to catch a glimpse of Kinzua Katie, our version of the Loch Ness monster. Like bigfoot, Nessie, and UFOs, I will believe there are Pennsylvania Pumas when I see a dead one on my doorstep.

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