Connecticut Cougars

Connecticut Cougars

There are 67 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Jan 6, 2008, titled Connecticut Cougars. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Year-in, year-out, about twice a week on average, the reports come in: Someone claims to have seen a mountain lion somewhere in Connecticut.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

Michelle Brookfield

Monroe, CT

#22 Jun 22, 2008
My son was riding his motorcycle and saw a cat run in front of him and then 50 feet away was a huge cat that growled at him. It was about 100 or more pounds. I said or you sure it wasn't a bobcat. We showed him pictures on the interent and he said I know what a mountain lion looks like with the paws and long tail. It was a mountain lion no doubt. We called and reported it.

Ratchaburi, Thailand

#23 Jun 22, 2008
jeff hebron ct wrote:
i also and a friend of mine saw a cougar saturday the 5th4pm in the town of norfolk my friend and i had spent a day hiking around the area. my rottweiler also witnessed this event she stayed in the jeep all hyped up from the scent and sighting, i hike often in the area i have seen several black bear with cubs moose also with a calf . this was absolutly not a bob cat it had a long tail and also even rarer it was black, yes i said black. no it was not a black bear . it was twice the size of my female rottweiler she is 85pds. they are indeed out the i have a witness also who was with me in the jeep.
Hey if your Rottweiler saw it, it must be true.
mountain lions like me

Plantsville, CT

#24 Jul 29, 2008
June 2008 tracks crossing an undeveloped rode over gas lines, along with wild turkey tracks.

2005 Tracks in woods and small bone fragment in puddle near Wadsworth Falls, Middletown/Middlefield, CT

Jan 2003 golden colored cat, about 250 lbs, long cylindrical tail, flat face with puff under neck, brown around eyes. It was travelling an ATV path alongside the Quinnipiac River on the Cheshire/Southington town line. I was on top of a hill looking down at it from maybe 100 ft away. Called Cheshire Animal control, they would not investigate unless I gathered scat. Too fearful to go back there.

Circa 2000 Mysterious deaths of two people found floating in the Reservoir (recreation area) in Broad Brook CT , found overnight, across the street from a 48 acre expanse of woods and tobacco fields where I've had sightings of mountain lions and tracks. I don't know the details, but its interesting to note.

1998 Reservoir Avenue tobacco fields, Broad Brook, CT...Saw a hanging white belly w/ nipples framed by golden fur in a thicket of a dirt tobacco road.(Face and tail not seen). Trotted towards me. I backed up slowly and went the other way on a figure-8 road. At the end leading out to the paved road was a large deer with throat bitten and twisted, back legs missing and rib cage 3 feet away completely white ("licked clean?").
Asked a co-worker and hunter who was native to Maine, he said mountain lions drag the back legs away.

1998 Windsorville Road, Broad Brook CT..(near Reservoir)...fluffy cub with light tan fur and pale brown spots, fat belly like a kitten's, the size of a large racoon...I was on my ran from a field of tree shrubs from a tree nursery, across the raod and into someone's back yard. Not far from where I saw the last mentioned sighting.

1986 Reservoir Ave, Broad Brook, CT
Same tobacco fields as 1998 sighting...I was on high school cross country team, running behind my house where the team practiced. Often by myself on weekends. Large deep tracks in the mud, some claws in and some out, long tail drag in the middle. From track to track, about 5 feet apart.

1986 Followed tracks (with tail drag) reaching down to a swamp. Along the way, very pungent smell of cat urine. I was 16 then. Had my mother come to the site. She said it smelled like cat urine, same as when domestic and non-fixed cats mark their territory - she noted as I did that it was far too pungent to be from a domestic cat.

1986 Dead deer (lying a few hundred feet away from the swamp in sighting above), behind tobacco barns accessible to Reservoir Avenue in Broad Brook, CT

1985 About 5 inch long bone, about 3 inches in diameter with nothing but big groove marks in it, about 150 ft behind my house in the woods.

1985-86, 1998-2000
Scat on trails through the woods in Broad Brook, CT. Like a large dog would leave, only looks to be composed of hay, which is probably deer hair from deer eaten?(The interim years not mentioned I lived out of state.)
mountain lions like me

Plantsville, CT

#25 Jul 29, 2008
NICK wrote:
i have a friend who works for the state, as a biologist. Most knowledgable outdoors guy I KNOW. Now, he hasn't ABSOLUTELY RULED IT OUT, but he highly doubts the existance of cougars in connecticut. He has told me that the "coverup" stories as 100% BS. But he says:
No scat
No hit by cars
No photos
No prints.
Me? If someone says they saw a big cat lurking, yeah, I totally believe that they are mistaking another animal for a cougar. A bobcat, a coyote, anything big. BUT, if they say they have seen a big cat WITH A LONG TAIL.......well, to me, thats kinda hard to just brush off. And remember, when the reports of black bear were first coming around, they also met with large amounts of skepticism. I think the state is erring on the side of caution, which is the correct way to approach this, but I DO NOT BELIEVE IN ANY CONSPIRACY JUNK.
Why would people make up a conspiracy about mountain lions? I know many don't believe, but you can see my other post with my sightings listed. I don't lie. Why would I lie anonymously? If you think people are lying, or embellishing, then I guess that would make you a conspiracy theorist.
I was afraid to tell too many people but confessed to my brother in law who is a lieutenant state trooper. He used to own and ride a horse through Middlefield, and he says HE'S seen them. He says the troopers know they live on Meriden Mountain. I KNOW they live in far more places than that.
If there are deer, there is the natural enemy of deer. It's not so shocking.
And to answer another's question about why bear get "publicity" and mountain lions don't, it's simple. Black bears are not known predators. They attack if threatened or frightened. Mountain lions are predators capable of taking down a deer, and thus human.
How do we know that missing people aren't some percentage of hikers, cross country runners and such that got attacked when alone?
Nick, if you're out on a run through the woods, you don't bring a camera with you. And if you're out there alone, you probably don't suspect there's a mountain lion around, because it gets no press and you've never thought of it.
And as far as scat and prints...if you saw a 250 lb mountain lion staring at you, would you go back to the site to pick up its poop? I didn't. My life isn't worth the disbelief of Animal Control. They could easilly drive a truck in to the area and have an expert do this. They don't want people to know.
mountain lions like me

Plantsville, CT

#26 Jul 29, 2008
P.S.- Also, I once worked in a place owned by an ex-wetlands biologist. He thought I was making up my story and said that there WERE - according to him- definitely mountain lions by the shore.

So he differs from your friend in at least he says they're in Connecticut.

I don't mean to offend you or critize your friend, but I don't find him credible. I'm sure he's a biologist, I'm sure he's got a degree too probably. I'm sure he must have to go into the field and take a look around. But you don't find mountain lions trapsing around with clipboards and instruments, arriving in loud vehicles and with other people. Mountain lions are cats. They hear noise from miles off, and they aren't going to be seen in this manner. Tell your friend to go alone with a hunting rifle, and do it frequently, and walk into deep woods making not a sound. He'll see one then.
debbie violette

Brooklyn, CT

#27 Aug 2, 2008
i have indeed, spotted a cougar twice in connecticut. the first time was directly across the street from my home in brooklyn ct, on a stone wall. she sat there for about 7-8 minutes, while my husband and i stood in our front yard looking at her. my husband thought she was a bob cat at first, until i went online and showed him pictures of the two, side by side. he is not an alarmist, but after looking at bobcats and cougars, he agreed we had indeed viewed a cougar. the second time she was in my back yard on an early august (2007) morning... and as i heard her low rumbling, growling/scream, i saw her baby come up from the edge of my pond, only to follow her into the woods. i realy do not care what the DEP reports..i know what we saw, i know what i heard....and i truely feel blessed to have witnessed such an awesome site.
debbie violette

Brooklyn, CT

#28 Aug 2, 2008
just a brief follow-up on my previous comment, after the two cougars left the pond in my back yard, i did grab my camera, and photograph the prints left by the baby cougar....i certainly would not want those "baby paws" near me!!!! i do wish i had my camera outside when they were near the pond....proof in the picture, but maybe next time.
A bit too close encounter

East Granby, CT

#29 Aug 18, 2008
I was fortunate enough to have gotten within 40 feet of a cougar on my property in North Granby, CT. 'Fortunate' as I look back, but 'unfortunate' at the time. It was a breezy fall afternoon and I was headed out to do some repairs on my house. As I walked around to the backside of my house, I turned the corner and came face to face with what seemed to be a bobcat feeding on a kill at the edge of the woods. It immediately made eye contact with me and squatted down in a position that made me think it was going to pounce. It was then that I saw a large tail swaying back and forth behind it. Everything fell out of my hands - yeah, just like the movies. The cat spun 180 degrees and ran in the opposite direction faster than any animal I have ever seen. Thinking it was long gone (clearly not thinking straight and probably in shock), I retrieved my side arm and went back out to see what it was eating. It was the rear legs of a deer. I dragged it to an open area in my backyard - hopeful that the cat would return for it. It did not return during the light of day but something got it at night. I checked for prints or scat and found nothing. I regret not having a motion-activated trail camera set up. Later that year, I spoke to the previous owner of my house - a darling woman in her mid-80s. When I told her about my experience her eyes lit up in such a way that reminded me of a person reminiscing about the past. She said an old friend of hers in a neighboring town knows where the den is and that it is a secret he will take to his grave. So, whether it was transported and released here by some extreme environmentalist or exotic pet owner that could no longer handle the big cat or some incredible natural reintroduction as a result of the landscape reverting back to the pre-colonist days (forested hills, abundant food supply, etc.), this one is definitely here...for now.

United States

#30 Aug 25, 2008
About 10 years ago I was snow-shoeing in Hartland and saw huge tracks, that honestly couldn't have been anything other type of feline (they were a couple days old when I had passed by), and before that a former neighbor has mentioned seeing them here and there in the woods up there.
robert new milford

Middlefield, CT

#31 Sep 2, 2008
I saw a large black cat labor day morning at the rear of a construction excvacation site on railroad street downtown New Milford. I suspect it may have been drawn by the smell of bacon from the two breakfast shops. Nothing else was open,no cars no people very quiet , I watched the cat walk about 20 feet along the top of a stone wall, it was about 3 feet long,about 30 inches high with a long tail almost touching the ground,curled up around on the end. this cat was big ,maybe a 100 pounds or more,I called out to my wife to look ,the cat turned away and leaped over a short fence , gone . I have been looking at pictures of cats on the internet, this cat looked exactly like a flordia panther only black as coal, a beautiful animal

big cat

Bayonne, NJ

#32 Sep 25, 2008
robert new milford wrote:
I saw a large black cat labor day morning at the rear of a construction excvacation site on railroad street downtown New Milford. I suspect it may have been drawn by the smell of bacon from the two breakfast shops. Nothing else was open,no cars no people very quiet , I watched the cat walk about 20 feet along the top of a stone wall, it was about 3 feet long,about 30 inches high with a long tail almost touching the ground,curled up around on the end. this cat was big ,maybe a 100 pounds or more,I called out to my wife to look ,the cat turned away and leaped over a short fence , gone . I have been looking at pictures of cats on the internet, this cat looked exactly like a flordia panther only black as coal, a beautiful animal
My friend that lives in Northfield, told me she has seen big black cats that look like panthers as well. She said that they have been around for about 3-4 years. She told me her father's home is on a farm and is next to the forest. I was in shock when she told me, but after reading these posts, I am beginning to believe her.
Bill Truini

New Milford, CT

#33 Oct 6, 2008
That was me in my Halloween costume people.


#34 Oct 17, 2008
This morning at around 9;30 as Igot onto rte.9 south right before the first Cromwell exit on the side of the highway dead was a mt.lion.I could not believe my eyes!Extremely large,tan longgggggg tail.
I spoke aloud in my truck saying what the hell is that?To say I was shocked is an understatement.I slowed down as much as i could being on the highway,but I am 100% sure of what I saw!

New Haven, CT

#35 Oct 21, 2008
let me just say i live in the northwest corner of conn. and my land connects to the colebrook dam and i see all kinds of animals here and the one thing im sure of is that mountain lions are in ct
and no one can tell me diff also spoke w a friend who works with dep and he told me they were brought in to curb the deer population and trust me its not joke dep are responsable for alot of animals here

Hebron, CT

#36 Dec 29, 2008
I just heard about a mountain lion that was hit and killed by a car in New Milford, along Route 7 near the Rocky River Motel in April 2008. The person who told me this is reputable and reliable. He said that several people saw it, at least one person photographed it, and the DEP also knows about and saw it. Has anyone else heard about this?
I saw a mountain lion in early May 2008 crossing the road in New Milford on Route 202 near the Sullivan barns (town owned property north of Route 109). It had the long tail, and I got a clear look at it. It filled the lane in front of me, and casually walked across the road as I was about 25 feet from it. Then, it jumped the stone fence and disappeared from my view. That area is a wildlife corridor with most of the area in land trust.
Chelsea North Haven

Yolo, CA

#37 Jan 6, 2009
I am 19 years old and all of my life i have grown up watching Discovery Channel and Animal planet. I know what I am talking about when I saw a mountain lion, puma, cougar, or whatever you want to call it, in my backyard. Early one morning, around 8 am my mother and I noticed a large animal sitting our backyard. She said someone's dog must have gotten in our yard some how.(strange enough we have a 4 and 1/2 foot tall fence.) To take a closer look to identify the "dog" we went out on our back deck. Surprisingly this animal was no dog, it was a feline, bigger than our female labrador retriever. It was a deep fawn and auburn color and black tip ears and around some areas of the face. It was right in front of our shed so it was easy to see the size of the animal was very significant. We started making noises for it to come closer, when it heard them it looked at us in such a way it was frightful. It stared for a moment, then got up and slowly walked to the back of the yard, dragging a long tail (which was as long, if not longer, than it's actual body) and scaled our fence (4.5 foot fence) and ran down the hill before my mother and I had a chance to walk to the back of the yard. This "jump & run" happened within 20 seconds... A week later our female labrador retriever, 85 lbs, was attacked by an unknown animal. The teeth markings of the animal were found right on the blubber of my dog's jugular. Yes, it grabbed her by the throat. Luckily, she had hanging skin from loosing weight, and her vein was not torn open, and she survived. Scared, we called animal control to basically be laughed at for our assumptions. They told us it was a coyote. Believe me, im not expert, but coyotes have always been native to my area and have never once attacked any of my animals. Also: coyotes hunt in packs and RARELY go for the THROAT of a large animal. We know for sure what we saw, and the attack marks are basically conclusive to being a mountain lion. The vet had even said it must have of been an animal of SUFFICIENT size. The DEP can say whatever they want, we know what we saw, and they aren't going to let anyone in the state know until it comes and bites one of them in their own ass, or jugular.
Farnorth - New Milford

Durham, CT

#38 Feb 14, 2009
To Chelsea, North Haven:

You might want to read a book, The Beast In The Garden, by Mark Baron. It is the true account of how cougars reestablished in Boulder, Colorado and how all the wildlife officials ignored repeated reports of sightings of cougars by local people. One of the behavioral traits that is written about in that book is that cougars will return to a place time and again if they see 'prey', in this case your dog, and will return to kill the prey if they have the opportunity. That cougar you saw had probably been in your area many times before, and when it had the opportunity to attack your dog, it did. Be careful, because that cat will be back! Your dog was very lucky this time.

Bronx, NY

#39 Apr 7, 2009
My husband and I were driving north on Richards Rd, going towards route 341 in October 2008. Sitting in the middle of the road was a good sized cat;like animal.
When I reached home I looked up photos on the web of cat-like animals in the NW part of Ct. What we saw was a Puma/Cougar --past the spotted age --but not fully grown. As it was sitting, we were not able to tell how long its tail was. Believe it or not, we saw this same (same or same type) of animal again, in almost the identical spot, on the same road about a week or two later. We are senior citizens and not given to flights of fancy. We saw what we saw.
Brit from Sterling

New London, CT

#40 Apr 17, 2009
we have had 6 deer in the last 2 months get killed on our farm.... 2 in the past 3 days!! we are surrounded by state forrest but the farm itself is very devoid of trees with open areas and fields. Both of the reccent deer were found mauled and out in the open.... one was parcually eaten and left in my front yard about 100 feet from my house and about 150 feet away from the tree line.... the neck on that one was torn off. also it left a half eaten one in the back field and that same night it came back and ate the rest of that one.... the bones were draged to the woods line and licked clean.... then later that morning that one in my front yard was there..... we know that we have coyotes in the woods behind the farm, but they have always been there and we have never had a problem. we have a lot of horses that we leave out over night during the summer in the pastures and the coyotes have never bothered them... we called the DEP and they came out and looked at the deer in my front yard and some foot print that were in the back field..... then they called us back and said that it was just a big dog..... it was not a dog!!! they went for the troat and most of the time took the head right off!!!! we havent seen any animal yet but the dead deer are a good sign that this is not a dog!! we are trin gto get it to come out again so we can get a pic of it or scat!! but this is deffinatly an mountain lion!
Why not

Bridgewater, NJ

#41 Apr 25, 2009
It always amazes me when I hear that Mountain Lions are not native to CT. They WERE native to CT until we extirpated them. If Mother Nature intended for Mountain Lions to roam CT-then surely they will again.

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