We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There have been consistent observations by people who know enough about animals (hunters etc.) in the past few years to indicate a small population. These cats can move long distances but not on a whim. They are following the exploding deer population through Wisconsin, Michigans UP, Ontario and Upstate NY. The book "The Beast In the Garden" gives a great account of how Boulder CO became a center for mountain lions after they made it a haven for deer. The cats who had previously been almost unseen nocturnal hunters in the backwoods no hunted at all times in the burbs. Since the highest density of deer in CT is in the Greenwich area it all makes sense.
Oh. So you like lions. I'm from South Dakota. You can have them all. They just really muck up hiking and camping and general being outside at nightedness. Seriously. You can have them. Bring a van as there are an awful lot of them. They are terribly unnecesary and we got along just fine w/out them for a hundred or so years.
If this story is actually true, then there are a lot of people that need to have their positions sponging from the taxpayers eliminated.
Taxpayers are struggling in this economy, and here we find government employees with nothing better to do than examine wildlife droppings. AND they are 'earning" a pension from us for this essential contribution to good government.
Cougars are highly adaptable animals. The term "mountain lion" describes only one habitat where they thrive. They do well anyplace where there's game, large and small, and places to hide. They generally don't do open plains very well but they're found even in the flatland of Eastern Montana.
Cougars were indigenous throughout the Americas when Europeans began to colonize. There's every reason that they may have survived in the Northeast or would re-establish populations there. The same is true of wolves.
I have a touch of Bambi syndrome myself, but I also love the wild for being wild. Cougars, wolves, bears and coyotes are neither cartoon buddies nor lurking fiends, but predators to be regarded with wary respect.
A recent issue of GA Outdoor News had several trail camera shots of cougars/mountain lions taken in recent years years in various parts of the state. There were both tawny and black specimens photographed. As far as deer population control, GA DNR estimates that coyotes will kill half of the fawns dropped this year.