Mountain lions in NY, DEC and denials
This is a message to the DEC: Those of us who have seen mountain lions in NY (I saw what was probably a kitten or adolescent on I-81) do not care if there is a reproducing population of mountain lions in NY nor am I saying that there is one. We do not know and most of us do not care to explore that issue. Nor do most of us know or care to explore if the animal we saw was an Eastern cougar or another type. But, we do not want to be discounted because most of us have not been accused of lying or seeing mirages in the past. Many of us have Phd's and/or MDs and are not used to being accused of lying or being patronized by being told we probably saw a bob cat, lynx or the Big Red Dog Clifford! I don't believe that the DEC is releasing cats. I do think that they are short sighted and typical of a governmental agency with people too long in their position and too comfortable repeated their mantra. I also think that the DEC is losing credibility. They denied cougar sightings in NY until they decided there was too much evidence and decided to use the CT mountain lion to do away with all the speculation (although the ct cougar's DNA was NOT an exact match to the Lake George data-just similar subspecies). It is unclear how it showed up dead in the road but it is being used to shut people up-cause they are attributing all sighting to that one cougar which they conveniently showed has died somehow on the road. What is more believable: A) there may be few lone mountain lions in NY or B) that dozens of people (many with PhDs, MDs) who have never seen a mirage and never hallucinated and who hold down important positions all of a sudden are plagued with some mysterious need to shout out "Mountain lion"? I'd put my money on the idea that, as the west is not like a zoo that encages all animals, it is probable that a few lone mountain lions have migrated to the east and are occasionally seen. See DEC, that wasn't so hard was it? This is a call for your organization to stop being so patronizing and start listening to the public. Some of us have as much science in our background as you do!