by Ryan Rachman
I live in the state of North Carolina approximately 430 meters from the Peedee river. I own 68 acres of land right next to wildlife.
I have been seeing a rather large cat species in my yard almost every night for the past 3 weeks. It looks like a lion has a tail around 3 to 4 foot long it is a sandy blondish red color and has darker colors around the mouth and ear areas.
I’ve been as close as 10 feet away from this cat eye to eye and to my surprise was not threatened by any means. The cat probably weighs about 200 pounds and is getting rather comfortable on my property what should I do??
I do not want to kill it but I’m a father of two kids and would die if something happened to my children.
1>Ryan – firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: Please see the extensive list of comments on this page as there are many from other citizens of N. Carolina who have seen a cougar and/or evidence of one. Judging by the large number of sightings recorded in the comments it seems to me that the puma is not extinct in the East. Below I allude to the possibility that the Ryan’s sighting was of a domesticated puma but that assessment may well be wrong 😊.
Hi Ryan.. thanks for visiting. The first thing to note is that I live in London, England. My answer is based on common sense principles and knowledge acquired.
North Carolina is eastern USA – obviously. The cougar (Puma) has been officially declared extinct in the wild in eastern USA by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Please read Eastern Cougar Extinct March 2011.
You are suggesting that a cougar is coming onto your land.
On the basis that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are correct (and there is debate about that) then the cat that you are seeing, which sounds as if it is a cougar, is either a domesticated one that has escaped or one of the last wild cougars in eastern USA. People domestic cougars in the USA.
If it is the latter is is very rare. If it is the former the cat belongs to someone. The cat sounds as if it is domesticated to me being unperturbed by your presence.
In either case it should not be shot and I am very pleased to read that you agree this.
I also agree that your children’s safety is paramount. Children should be supervised in the presence of a cougar – common sense I guess. Cougars can be chased off by adults – Mountain Lion Attack. Your children shouldn’t go out unsupervised until the matter is dealt with.
My best advise is to contact the authorities (not the police) and ask for help. The only trouble with that is I have read that “the authorities” tend to like to shoot large cats. Well, that is the impression I get. So strict instructions should be given to say that no one is treated or endangered and that you are concerned for the cat as much as yourself and family.
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission promotes conservation “and provides assistance for landowners wishing to manage wildlife on their lands..” They might be a good starting point. But keep your mind open. Some people have closed dogmatic minds and tend to respond in a formulaic manner (shoot and ask later). Their contact details are: 1-800-662-7137 (this is for “wildlife violations” which is not really appropriate but the best number that I can find).
You no doubt have a better idea as to who to contact but never the police please! They often do more harm than good.
The cat should be caught and “re-homed” somewhere safe. It is the cat that is more in danger than the people in actual fact.
If the children go out you should accompany them and if the cougar (presuming the cat is a cougar) appears follow the instructions that I have listed on the Mountain Lion Attack page.
If anyone has a better idea please leave a comment asap – thank you.