Because of the human’s fear of big cats inherited from our ancient ancestors (when they really were a cause for concern), almost all sightings of mountain lions in the USA are of domestic cats under difficult lighting conditions or at night and the evidence is a poor quality video or photo. They are always records of poor image quality because if they were of decent quality there would be no big cat sightings because it would be obvious that people were looking at someone’s moggie.
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People want to see a mountain lion to justify their simmering fear. So when a sizeable moggie casually wanders across a field at dusk, voilà he becomes a man-eating puma. Damn it no. Female pumas are no bigger than a teenage kid and their distribution is shrinking all the time in the USA.
The mountain lion is gradually being eradicated from central USA having been entirely removed from eastern America many years ago. Although there are some genuine sightings in the east of the country these may be escaped pet pumas.
The video below is absolutely typical. The video was made by the surveillance cameras at the farm of a Newmarket man. This is Newmarket in Canada, just north of Toronto where there are no mountain lions. We are told by CTV News Barrie that he was concerned for his animals on his farm because he thought the cat in the video might be a mountain lion.
No way, José. This is clearly a lanky domestic cat sauntering around at night minding his business.
The Ministry of Natural Resources told CTV News that it was difficult to determine the identity of the animal. I think they need some training, quickly because this is clearly a pet cat. The general body conformation confirms that and the tail is too short anyway.
Big cats have a different gait to domestic cats. This is often the giveaway. I think people should be more self-disciplined when they start to believe that they have seen a mountain lion or some other big cat in the US or UK. They should examine their thinking and ask some tough questions before going to wildlife services or the news media.
Perhaps this farmer knows all too well that the cat is a domestic moggie but sold his video to CTV News for a couple of hundred dollars. Easy money.
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