They did! They did thee a giant puddy tat!

Image by Winchester PD.

Winchester Police report they have confirmation that a paw print found in the snow last month, ten days after a resident spotted what seemed to be a mountain lion, have been confirmed as those of a mountain lion:

A photograph of a second paw print located at this sighting was sent to several independent mountain lion organizations in the United States. Experts from those organizations have conclusively stated that the paw print belongs to a mountain lion. The Winchester Police Department is reminding residents to be mindful that a mountain lion may still be in town.

UPDATE: Boston Magazine reports state wildlife officials remain unconvinced and say that, no, nobody in Winchester taw a giant puddy tat.



      Free tagging: 



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      Winchester's newest bar for cougars on the prowl is the Catamount Lounge.

      But, But...

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      But...They're aren't any mountains in Winchester!

      Do I have a bike route for you!

      The last time I rode down to Rt. 3 from this neighborhood I hit 50 mph on the bike.

      My big fitness test, like Rocky's Steps? Wildwood to Johnson to Winchester Drive. It gains about 300 ft in about a mile, most of that in the first half mile.

      Fairly rugged set of hills up there. The climb from Arlington Heights is even crazier.

      Not surprising

      Those of us near the Fells have been seeing and encountering a lot of deer this past year, so predators are kind of the next big thing.

      Kitteh was probably looking for a bare-knuckled bucket of does.


      I saw one last week

      I saw a Catamount in a bar last week....came in a brown bottle and was called Maple Wheat

      Anyways, I seriously doubt there's a mountain lion around here. swrrly makes a good point about there being lots of good eats around here for the big cats, I just think we'd be seeing a lot more carnage, not to mention a mt biker or two being taken out (a few bones, but tasty). ;-)


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      Unless it was somebody's pet that started eating the chairs - and everything else - in the house. I looked at the range of these animals and apparently there has not been a verified sighting east of the Mississippi (except the FL panther) in decades. If this thing made its way east - probably would have been other sightings (and as you point out - carnage) along the way. I know they are reclusive - but they have to pass through inhabited areas - without getting hit by a car.

      My guess - bobcat or possibly a lost lynx that wandered down from the northern reaches of VT or NH. Could be a coyote - but I'm guessing the experts would have ruled that out based on the pawprint - so I'll go with a lynx headed back north in search of a Spring fling.

      You didn't look well enough, apparently

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      I looked at the range of these animals and apparently there has not been a verified sighting east of the Mississippi (except the FL panther) in decades.

      According to The Cougar Network website, there have been a "a modest number of confirmations" in the eastern Canada Provinces and New England over the last couple decades. These include multiple encounters that yielded verifiable DNA evidence, and one killed crossing a highway in Milford CT in 2011!

      The site goes on to point out that there is "no evidence of a breeding population, and most cougar experts believe that any animals in this region are usually of captive origin. The presence of South American genotypes in many of the DNA positive hair samples indicates that at least some of these animals are of captive origin. The occurrence of some of these samples in seemingly unsuitable Boreal habitat also raises questions."

      I grew up in the rural Mid Atlantic, and there were definitely a few rich idiots about that kept all sorts of wild animals from elsewhere. I can totally see one of these animals getting loose and roaming around for a few years. And the one I ref'ed above that was killed in CT was actually tracked and recorded earlier in its life from South Dakaota through Minnesota and Wisconsin. So these guys can range pretty far.


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      I meant wild sighting - not loose "pets" which I could easily see and which is why if this was a mountain lion I comment that it was eating the chairs (read a great story years ago about someone keeping a much smaller wild cat as a pet - fine until they came home and found their house shredded and the cat wanted them next).

      Didn't see the one about the animal in CT -interesting - exception to every rule. Curious how he got from WI to CT without being seen though - there are some pretty densely populated areas it would have to cross and a lot of areas that probably aren't good mountain lion habitat. That's a long way to go without being noticed in between. We'll never know - but I'll chalk that up to the once in a century dumb luck or maybe a stowaway on a vehicle somehow.

      They are hardy animals though - and they do wander and apparently did on the east coast centuries ago - would love to see them make a comeback this side of the country. They could help thin the coyotes or even the herds of bicyclists when their prey instincts kick in.


      How has it gone this long and no one has given the mythical cat/dog a name? I propose Winnie or Winston.