by Ron Gilliam, resident of Lewis County, Kentucky
(Lewis County Kentucky)
Mountain lion - photo added by Michael - photo by Beyond the Trail [Gary] (Flickr)
I spend many hours in the hills and woods, especially in the Summer. Several of my neighbors have seen two large black cats, for four or five years, in this area (Beechy Creek). They seem to have a home base in a vacant barn, located on a deserted mountain top.
Also, I have family members, who have spotted a large black female cat with small cubs, crossing a creek in the vicinity of Laurel Road and Tar Fork. On another occasion, they saw a pair of large black cats, a male and female, in the same area.
Recently, I have found very large cat tracks close to my home. This concerns me because they are too large to be mountain lions.
Several mountain lions have lived in this area, for many years. It is not uncommon to see them near Kinnconick creek near Camp Dix and Laurel.
They seem unafraid of people and will walk along edges of grassy fields. What is the possibility of being attacked by one of these large cats?
In the last twenty or so years, Eastern Kentucky and maybe all of Kentucky has been repopulated with coyotes, wolves, wild turkeys, bears, and large cats. Bobcats were always here. Few people go into the woods now, without a gun. It has dramatically changed the area.