Saturday, July 15, 2006

More On the Carolina Cougar

More Mountain Lion Sightings Reported: Experts may remain skeptical, but the number of people reporting mountain lion sightings to The Pilot has now risen to more than half a dozen.

The four sightings reported since the publication of an article Sunday suggest there may even be more than one of the animals, which are known variously as cougars, pumas, panthers and catamounts.

Reports of big cats have come from Seven Lakes North, Seven Lakes West, Beacon Ridge, north of Seven Lakes and even in the back area of the Country Club of North Carolina.


Lori G. Armstrong said...

Dusty - do these sightings bother you? What do you think is going on?

Richard said...

Mountain lions live all around my neck of the woods. They're generally afraid of humans.

JD Rhoades said...

lori: Well, between me and Seven Lakes there's about 12 miles of nothing but woods and farmland. I undersatand, however, that mountain lions range pretty widely, so it's not inconceivable that the critter (assuming there is one) could turn up in my backyard, at which point my Golden Retriever would probably try to make friends with it.

So it doesn't exactly bother me, but it is something to think about.

Stacey Cochran said...

I've been shopping around a novel (and series) featuring a wildlife biologist drawn into a Tucson, Arizona police investigation, when two teenagers are killed on a golf course late at night. The wildlife biologist suspects it was a cougar attack, and that real estate encroachment into wilderness areas is a significant factor contributing to the situation. The first novel involves cougars; the second grizzly bears in Colorado.

One of the states that I found in doing research (and actually makes a cameo appearance in Claws) where cougar populations have rebounded from near extinction is North Carolina.

Cougar males generally range in weight from about 95-150 pounds, but occasionally they may weigh upwards of 200 pounds. The male is very territorial usually trying to preserve a 25 square mile area per animal. Females are less so.

In Arizona, we actually had a number of elementary school, as well as park, closures because the animals were stalking people.

I sent out 98 queries to agents just a week ago, which brings the total up to about 175 total that I've queried for this novel.

I think it's got movie potential and readability potential all over it, but convincing folks in the business about a suspense series involving a wildlife biologist has been difficult so far, though a few have recognized its potential.

I think it's an important subject to discuss because it involves such important issues as vanishing wilderness land, real estate encroachment, and wildlife management.

I'll have to follow these sightings in North Carolina mosre closely now. Thanks for the heads up, Dusty!

Stacey Cochran said...

Incidentally, I've got some video footage from the Pinehurst Country Club on July 4th up at the site. Its under the "Blog & Contest" section of the site.

I wish I could have made it to Thrillerfest, but Pinehurst wasn't a bad place to spend the Fourth either.

Anonymous said...

Ahoy. Cougar are NOT afraid of humans. They do NOT want to be seen by anyone.
So, if you see one, and it is darting for cover- it is not thinking scary a human! It is thinking darn- I just lost the element of surprise. That is all. Carry a bright light with you. Scan periodically. If you see those highly reflective retinas shining your light right back at you- do not turn the light off. And, if it is close- do like the cougar language page says: if you have lethal weapons, aim carefully and use them now.

JD Rhoades said...

Thanks for that, anon. We haven't had any sightings in a good long while, though, so maybe it's moved on.