Cougars, mountain lions, pumas, panthers, they are all the same critter and have always been one of those animals that because of their reclusive and secretive ways are not usually documented in an area unless one happens to be somehow killed, usually by a car such as the one in Connecticut. Cougar sightings are rare and always suspect by state game officials in many states claiming they are some other animal or a figment of someones imagination.
Upon hearing a rumor of a cougar being killed near where I live, I immediately began a search for any documentation to the veracity of the claim. I did not and as of yet have not found any such proof. Sightings of cougars in assumed non-resident states have been shown to usually be younger males who have traveled great distances to find new territories and more ample food.
It is only when females show up in a state that wildlife agencies seem to sit up and take notice. Females in an area usually means there are males not that far away and for breeding pairs to begin setting up territories is when time and money is diverted to studies and monitoring their activity.
Rumors of these big cats' existence have been ongoing for years in New Hampshire. For me they aren't rumors as I saw one many years ago and have a friend who saw one as well around the same time in Conway, NH. Can we prove it? No we can't. Does that mean we didn't see them? Absolutely not.
For those interested in a remarkable blogsite where sightings of these big cats are reported among the sighters, go here. Also answer our latest poll and report your sightings. We'd love to hear about your story as well..