Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Eric Kilby
Several people have come forward to report cougar sightings despite the cats being extinct in the state.
The spate of reports emerged on Saturday when chef Billy Hensley made a post on a Bigfoot research Facebook page claiming that he had seen a cougar near Nebo in western North Carolina.
“I know I’ll catch some flack for this,” he wrote. “But I will swear this to my grave: I have seen a cougar not once but twice in Nebo in the past month or so.”
His sighting was soon joined by several more from other social media users who also believed that they had witnessed one of the animals in the region.
“I’ve seen one about a half mile from my house in Green Mountain – which is in Yancey County,” wrote Kim Owens-Mayhew. “Definitely a cougar, like you saw… I’ve seen bobcats too and they’re not even close to the same size, length, and of course the tails are different.”
Another user, Tiffinay Al-Maqtari, also remained adamant that the cats were still out there.
“I think it’s condescending and dismissive when wildlife biologists or whoever say that they aren’t around when people obviously are seeing them,” she wrote. “There was one outside of my son’s school once and all the kids saw it. They are just incredibly elusive.”
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission however is not convinced.
“There are no known cougars in North Carolina,” Jodie Owens told The News and Observer.
“We get lots of reports every year from folks who think they’ve seen a cougar. Usually, it’s a house cat, bobcat, coyote, even dogs or black bears that have been misidentified as cougars.”
Source: News Observer