facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search

Officials stumped by Va. cougar sightings

Feb. 18, 2010 at 4:47 PM   |   Comments

NORFOLK, Va., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Virginia wildlife officials said they are struggling to make sense of recent mountain lion sightings at the southern end of the state's Eastern Shore.

Glen Askins, a regional wildlife manager with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, said at least three people reported seeing a cougar in late December and early January, but mountain lions have been extinct in the area for more than a century, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Thursday.

"None of it makes any sense," Askins, a regional wildlife manager with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. "There hasn't been a mountain lion in that part of the world in well over 100 years."

Askins conceded a few mountain lions had been captured in Virginia in recent decades, but those were believed to be exotic pets that later were set free.

However, Ernie Coalter is sure the animal he saw near his home outside Capeville Dec. 30 and again two weeks later while driving with his wife was a mountain lion.

Randall Treadwell of Virginia Beach said he has also spotted a cougar twice, once in late December and again in late January.

"I'd never rule it out," Askins said of the possibility of a mountain lion presence in the area. "But you've got to understand. I've been chasing mountain lion reports for nearly 26 years, and I have yet to find any physical evidence that they still exist in the wild in Virginia. No bodies. No fresh kills. No hair. No scat. Nothing."

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended Stories
Most Popular
1
Washington soldier claims Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen worker spiked his drink
2
New Mexico woman allegedly pulls gun on Comcast worker over cable fees
3
Beijing restaurant hires teenage girls to walk crabs down the street in promotional stunt
4
See It: 5-year-old girl begs baby brother not to grow up
5
Woman with 'Skywalker' as her middle name has passport rejected
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback