Cryptozoology: The Catamount

Cryptozoology – the search for the existence of animals which have not been proven to exist – is beginning to be a common word in America with the mysterious “existence” of animals such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and Moth Man. Of course, those “animals” are the extreme of Cryptozoology to some, and the likelihood of them actually existing has been the debate of many. Much more plausible to many outdoorsmen is the existence of the Catamount in Pennsylvania.

The Catamount, or Cougar / Mountain Lion, was deemed officially extinct in Pennsylvania in 2011, but had apparently been prowling around the wilds before that for some time. Historically, Catamounts could have described anything from a Cougar / Mountain Lion, Panther or Bobcats. Today, Catamounts (which commonly describe only the Cougar / Mountain Lion) are often referred to as “escaped pets” in Pennsylvania.

These elusive felines, which can travel up to 25 miles in a single day (over a territory of often 100 miles in radius), are rarely seen, which just adds to their legend. Many outdoorsmen, however, believe there are still wild Catamounts in existence in Pennsylvania, which is where Cryptozoology comes in. The species is know to have existed in the wild at one time, but does it still?

That’s up for you to decide! Until then, take a look at the timeline and see if you think the Catamount is still lurking around out there.

(Above) Authorities believe this to be the last wild Catamount in Pennsylvania, killed in 1874 in Berks County. Today this Catamount "lives" at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.

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